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Key Drug Cartel Members Arrested in Mexico

Mexican federal forces have celebrated success for the second time this month. A victory has been claimed against a brutal drug gang operating in the Tijuana region. Two important suspects linked to a powerful Sinaloa-based drug trafficking organization have been captured.

The Sign on San Diego reported that Mexico’s Public Safety Secretariat has confirmed the detention of José Manuel García Simental, nicknamed El Chiquilín. Garcia Simental is said to have recently taken over the leadership of the criminal gang formerly headed by his older brother, Teodoro García Simental.

Second-in-command, Raydel López Uriarte, is also in custody and both individuals have been identified as members of the criminal organization led by kingpins Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman and Ismael “Mayo” Zambada.

López had repeatedly evaded capture and was in charge with recruiting for his gang, as well as institutional support and the coordination of hired assassins. According to a statement from Mexican authorities, before his brother’s capture, José Manuel García had been in charge of the group’s finances, according to the statement.

One U.S. official who follows drug trafficking organizations noted that this detection is very significant as the individuals were working for Chapo, who has been trying to gain control of smuggling routes and markets in the Tijuana region.

This group has been named by authorities in numerous kidnappings and slayings. Members often behead victims or dissolve their bodies in lye. Victims tend to be typically low-ranking rivals in the local drug trade. The gang members also worked to intimidate local police, gunning them down as they patrolled the city.

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