Mexican authorities have questioned the alleged leader of the Juarez drug cartel, a man known as “Ugly Betty,” after detaining him in possession of narcotics and weapons, officials said.
Alberto Carrillo Fuentes, 47, was arrested by federal police in the western state of Nayarit on Sunday and has been taken to the attorney general’s office in Mexico City for questioning, they said.
Eduardo Sanchez, the government’s security spokesman, confirmed the arrest on Twitter and told AFP that Carrillo Fuentes is considered the leader of the cartel named after the city of Ciudad Juarez, which borders Texas.
An official from the prosecutor’s office said Carrillo Fuentes was alone at the time of his arrest. He faces charges of drug trafficking, murder and organized crime, Mexican media said.
His monicker matches the name of a Colombian soap opera.
His arrest is the third apparent takedown of a cartel boss since July as the government strives to reduce drug-related violence that has left more than 70,000 people dead since 2006.
Carrillo Fuentes is believed to have taken over the criminal group, which is also known as the New Juarez Cartel, after his brother Vicente “The Viceroy” Carrillo Fuentes reportedly gave up the job.
The original group was founded by another brother, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, alias “The Lord of the Skies,” who died in mysterious circumstances following plastic surgery in 1997.
According to the weekly magazine Proceso, the Juarez gang was in an intense turf war in several northwestern states against the Sinaloa cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico’s most wanted man.
The two cartels waged a fierce battle for control of Ciudad Juarez in recent years and Guzman is believed to have come out on top.
The city was once considered the world’s murder capital but the homicide rate has dropped since a peak of more than 3,000 in 2010.
Carrillo Fuentes’s arrest follows the capture of Zetas cartel kingpin Miguel Angel Trevino, alias “Z-40,” on July 15, and Gulf cartel leader Mario Ramirez Trevino on August 17.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said during his state of the union address on Monday that 65 of Mexico’s 122 most wanted men have now been captured.
He also said drug-related murders dropped by 20 percent between December and July compared to the same period last year, but analysts have questioned the government’s methodology in counting such homicides.