Mexican Federal Police have captured the alleged leader of the Los Rojos cartel, a dangerous criminal gang in the southern state of Guerrero, according to a statement released on Saturday.
Suspected Los Rojos cartel boss Leonor Nava Romero, who also goes by the names “The Claw” and “El Tigre,” was arrested by police in Tecpan de Galeana, near the beach resort of Acapulco, according to National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido.
Nava Romero has been arrested on suspicion of trafficking drugs to the United States, extortion and kidnapping. At the time of his arrest, the suspected Los Rojos cartel boss was allegedly carrying an assault rifle and ammunition.
Soures within the Policía Federal have stated that, in addition to his links to the Los Rojos cartel, Leonor Nava Romero is believed to be linked to the arms smuggling operations of another cartel, known as the Beltran Leyva cartel. Recently, the Policía Federal dealt a massive blow to the Beltran Leyva cartel during a coordinated series of raids in Mexico City, which led to the arrest of Arnoldo Villa Sanchez, the Beltran Leyva cartel’s second highest ranking member. At the time of Villa Sanchez’s capture, arresting officers additionally seized several guns, synthetic drugs, and approximately 265 kilos of cocaine, with an estimated street value upwards of 13 million dollars.
In December of 2009, BLC founder Arturo Beltrán Leyva threw a lavish Christmas party in Cuernevaca, an upscale suburb of Mexico City, when the Mexican Navy’s Elite Special Forces Unit crashed the gates, scattering celebrities and prostitutes alike into the night. A week long pursuit culminated in a 90 minute long firefight in another high-end condominium development. Several tanks, helicopters and about 200 Mexican Marines finally managed to kill the cartel boss, but not before one Marine lost his life in the firefight.
3rd Petty Officer Melquisedet Angulo Cordova, the Marine killed in the raid, was buried with full honors on December 21, 2009. Several hours later, Angulo Cordova’s mother, two siblings and an aunt were murdered at the family’s home in Paraiso, Tabasco. The cartel hitman was arrested several days later, but not before a kindergarten was firebombed in Moreles. A narcomanta was found near the part of the building that had burnt down, warning of further reprisals against anybody interfering with cartel affairs.
National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido has stated that Leonor Nava Romero allegedly ordered the killings of the BLC’s opponents. “(Nava Romero) is also suspected of the murder of eight officers of the National Defence Secretary in 2008,” he said, of the alleged Los Rojos cartel boss.