Mexico Says Another Drug Gang Leader Is in Custody

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Correction Appended

MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican authorities have captured a top leader of a drug trafficking organization, the attorney general's office said Saturday, the second arrest of a drug kingpin confirmed by the government this month.

The suspect, Víctor Hugo Delgado Rentería, a leader of the Nueva Generación organization, was arrested more than a week ago in the western state of Jalisco, along with two other people believed to be members of the gang, the attorney general's office said.

The arrests were first publicly confirmed by the attorney general on Thursday but had not been widely reported. They preceded the arrest on Monday of the leader of one of Mexico's most notorious drug gangs, the Zetas, a bigger catch that made headlines across the globe.

Taken together, the arrests may assuage fears by drug-war hawks that Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, would soften the government's crackdown on drug traffickers. Mr. Peña Nieto's aides have frequently criticized the approach of his predecessor, Felipe Calderón, and Mr. Calderón's partnership with United States law enforcement agencies.

During the Calderón administration, battles among the gangs and with the military and the police left tens of thousands dead.

Mr. Peña Nieto has indeed adopted a different tone. He has abandoned the previous administration's practice of parading captured cartel members, their weapons and their stacks of cash before the news media. And while American officials said they had provided intelligence on the Zeta leader captured last week, it was the Mexican authorities who carried out the operation. They did not notify the United States until hours after the arrest was made.

Nueva Generación was once affiliated with the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, but it splintered off and now operates almost exclusively in Jalisco, according to Jorge Chabat, a drug and security expert at CIDE, a Mexico City research group.

Nueva Generación gained notoriety after it announced a campaign to go after members of the Zetas. In a video posted on YouTube in 2011, the cartel urged citizens to report Zetas to the authorities.

"These people don't respect anything -- they rape, they kidnap, they kill, and they impose their famous dues," a man says off camera, which remains fixed on a group of about two dozen men holding rifles and dressed mostly in black.

Correction: July 21, 2013, Sunday

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the year that a video, in which the Nueva Generación cartel urged citizens to report Zetas to the authorities, was posted on YouTube. It was 2011, not 2010.

world

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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