Mexico captures man blamed in marine slaying

AP News
Posted: Oct 13, 2010 12:40 AM
Mexico captures man blamed in marine slaying

Mexican soldiers on Tuesday captured an alleged gang leader suspected of organizing the massacre of a dead marine's family days after a government raid killed a major drug cartel boss, authorities said.

Tabasco state Attorney General Rafael Gonzalez said the arrested Seiki Ogata is the leader of the Zetas drug gang in the southern state, which borders Guatemala.

Ogata organized the killings of marine Melquisedet Angulo's mother and three other relatives in Tabasco last December, Gonzalez said. Days earlier, Angulo had been killed during a raid in Cuernavaca, near Mexico City, that left drug kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva dead.

Five members of Ogata's group, which was allegedly involved in the kidnappings of Central American migrants, were also arrested, Gonzalez said.

Also Tuesday, a Mexican judge ordered suspected drug capo Edgar Valdez Villareal held for another 40 days, the federal Attorney General's Office said in a statement.

Valdez Villareal, known as "La Barbie," was captured Aug. 20 at a ranch outside Mexico City after a yearlong pursuit.

The Texas-born Valdez Villareal allegedly led one of two factions that began fighting for control of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel after the leader's death in December.

The Attorney General's Office said it will use the extra 40 days to strengthen its case against Valdez Villareal.

Authorities have yet to decide whether to try the 37-year-old in Mexico or deport him to the United States, where he faces charges of allegedly distributing thousands of kilos of cocaine in the eastern U.S. between 2004 and 2006.

Meanwhile, journalists, students and activists in the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez staged a demonstration to demand that authorities solve the killings of two journalists.

Reporters at the newspaper El Diario held banners outside the daily's building calling on President Felipe Calderon to bring those responsible for the deaths of Armando Rodriguez and Luis Santiago to justice.

Santiago, an El Diario photographer, was ambushed by gunmen at a shopping mall parking lot and shot to death last month. El Diario crime reporter Armando Rodriguez was killed in 2008 outside his home.

Calderon was in Ciudad Juarez to inaugurate a park and to evaluate the security strategy in the city where more than 2,000 people have been killed this year.

Mexico has seen unprecedented gang violence since Calderon stepped up the fight against drug trafficking when he took office in December 2006, deploying thousands of troops and federal police to cartel strongholds.

Since then, more than 28,000 people have been killed in violence tied to Mexico's drug war.

Authorities in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa, the cradle of many of Mexico's most powerful drug traffickers, said they found three beheaded bodies Tuesday along a highway that leads to the town of Imala.

The three mutilated bodies where found along with a message that accused them of being kidnappers, Sinaloa state prosecutor's spokesman Martin Gastelum said.