March 25th, 2009 20:06 EST
Mexican Authorities Apprehend The First From Their Most Wanted List
In a raid conducted earlier Tuesday, military officials in Mexico captured one of the infamous drug traffickers from most wanted list they published on Monday. Though the criminal went by the alias "la burra", or female donkey in Spanish, authorities claim the title is a misnomer to the clout the smuggler carries as the chief of drug distribution in the northern city of Monterrey.
Mexico`s military spokesman Army General Luis Arturo Oliver said the trafficker, Hector Huerta Rios, was apprehended by soldiers on the outskirts of Monterrey on Tuesday. This annoncement comes only hours before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to arrive for a two-day visit to the country with the agenda of speaking on further U.S. involvement in cracking down on the cartels as well as security concerns between both nations. She`s expected to visit Monterry tomorrow.
This is the first capture from the list of 37 wanted individuals linked to narcotic smuggling. With the capture, there are now 12 lieutenants remaining at large from the list while all 24 of the cartel leaders are still free.
Authorities described that Huerta Rios was a lieutenant in the Beltran Leya cartel in the city that directed the cartel`s operations from a secret location in city limits. According to them, Huerta Rios had been negotiating splintering his cartel`s territory between they and the competing Gulf cartel.
Marisela Morales, the federal deputy attorney general for organized crime, said: "We have information that as the representative of the Beltran Leyva cartel he held meetings with members of the Gulf cartel with the aim of agreeing on drug distribution zones, in order to avoid clashes between the rival gangs."
The informaton was provided by an anonymous informer, but the spokesman didn`t release whether or not the person was paid $1 million for the tip. During the same conference they debuted the new wanted list, Mexico offered $1 million for information leading to the capture of any of the lieutenants and $2 million in the same regard for the cartel kingpins.
Along with the lieutenant, four bodyguards were also arrested with a cache of three assault rifles and four grenades in their possession. Huerta Rios is currently being held on a murder warrant, while his four guards await their date in court.
As an adjunct to the story, the nickname "burro", or male donkey, is a term referring to someone who transports drugs in smuggling argot. Why exactly Huerta Rios was nicknamed for a "female donkey" is unclear.