Mexico nabs alleged head of 'Resistance' drug gang

AP News
Posted: Feb 28, 2011 2:45 PM
Mexico nabs alleged head of 'Resistance' drug gang

Mexican police have captured the alleged leader of a drug gang that calls itself "The Resistance," a group that operates in western Mexico, officials said Monday.

Victor Torres Garcia was detained in the Michoacan state city of Uruapan, along with two alleged associates, several guns and bags of drugs, federal police announced.

Torres Garcia allegedly led a gang whose members came several other cartels and who grouped together to resist the incursion of the Zetas drug gang. It also sought to fill a vacuum left by the death or capture of top members of the Beltran Leyva cartel in 2008 and 2009.

The Resistance operated in the states of Jalisco, Michoacan and Mexico City and surrounding Mexico state.

Federal police said in a statement that Torres Garcia had once worked for the Beltran Leyva cartel, and that Resistance members came from the La Familia, Gulf and Milenio cartels.

Michoacan is the home base of La Familia, which has sought to extend its influence to neighboring states. The Zetas, originally based on Mexico's Gulf coast, have spread through the country.

La Familia built its base in Michoacan in part by corrupting or intimidating local police and other officials.

On Monday, the army reported it had detained a female Michoacan state police officer who was traveling in a convoy of vehicles with eight assault rifles, ammunition and a bag of marijuana seeds. The other members of three-vehicle convoy managed to escape into the countryside.

The state police officer was on medical leave at the time she was detained, and was wearing a bulletproof vest that identified her as a municipal police officer.

And in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa, state prosecutors reported that the bodies of five men had been found dangling from bridges over a highway in the coastal city of Mazatlan.

One of the men was hung from a pedestrian bridge, blindfolded. The other four bodies were gagged and tortured and hung from an overpass.

Some cruise ship companies are canceling stops in Mazatlan because of concerns about security.