Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mexican drug capo to be extradited

Mexican officials approved the extradition to the U.S. of suspected drug kingpin Benjamin Arellano Felix. The alleged head of a Tijuana drug cartel will go on trial with several charges against him including drug trafficking and money laundering.

The decision by Mexico’s Attorney General overturns one made by a judge in May barring Arellano Felix’s extradition. Authorities suspect that Arellano Felix’s brother and sister currently control the Tijuana drug cartel.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon recently praised the police efforts to combat crime yet the deaths caused by violence between gangs and against the police has escalated:

Suspected drug hitmen killed six people in Ciudad Juarez in northern Mexico on Tuesday, the latest in a killing spree that has left 41 people dead in the city since the start of the weekend, police said…

Tuesday's murders take the death toll to over 500 people in Ciudad Juarez since the start of the year, making it the most deadly city in Mexico's drug war, despite a large deployment of well-armed troops and federal police.

Not even the family members of U.S. legislators are immune from the violence; a relative of Rep. Silvestre Reyes who was living in Ciudad Juarez was kidnapped and then released according to “an internal ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) memo.”

Image- New York Times

Sources- El Paso Times, CNN, AFP, Reuters UK

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