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Mexican Military Continue to Fight Drug War; Capture One Sinaloa Leader

While the news of the capture of a known drug crimina, especially a leader, should be something to celebrate among those on the side of the law, the festivities can quickly be dampened by the reality that many a drug cartel can easily fill that leadership role.

A recent Associated Press report noted a purported top figure in the Sinaloa drug cartel has been arrested in the border city of Mexicali. Manuel Garibay was arrested by Baja California police while he was driving in Mexicali.

Garibay is reportedly the Sinaloa cartel’s link to Colombian cocaine suppliers. He took on the role after last year’s arrest of Vicente "El Vicentillo". Authorities were seeking Garibay for trafficking cocaine from Colombia to Mexico. He is also suspected of being involved with a number of kidnappings and killings.

Authorities believe Garibay led a cell of a minimum of 28 cartel members, which included his brother Jose Luis Garibay, who was taken into custody in 2005.

The action was not confined to Mexicali, however, as clashes were taking place in the border state of Tamaulipas. A minimum of 11 gunmen were gunned down in at least three separate run ins with the Mexican navy and army troops.

According to a statement put out by the navy, six gunmen died in two shootouts in Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas, while another five died after a clash with soldiers in Ciudad Mier, as reported by the army.

The National Human Rights Commission accused the soldiers involved in an April confrontation of altering the crime scene of a shootout in Tamaulipas that involved the killing of two young children. The government rejected such conclusions.

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