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Authorities arrest Gulf Cartel leader behind wave of violence in Mexican border state

March 23, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Authorities arrest Gulf Cartel leader behind wave of violence in Mexican border state

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Mexican officials apprehended one of the top leaders within the Gulf Cartel mainly responsible for the out of control violence in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.

The arrest occurred in the state of Queretaro, which is an area thought by many to be peaceful and unbothered by cartel activity.

While the Mexican government has not released a formal announcement, information provided by Mexico’s Secretariat of the Interior indicated that federal officers, along with Queretaro State police, detained Luis Alberto “Pelochas” Blanco Flores–one of the top leaders within the Gulf Cartel, El Universal reported.

Information about the operation and arrest have not been released.

Since May, Blanco Flores headed a cell of the Gulf Cartel that attempted to take control of the criminal group in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, from a rival faction. The internal dispute resulted in violent gun battles where convoys of hitmen moved about the border city firing .50 caliber rifles, grenade launchers, and machine guns.

The internal turf war has resulted in over 400 murders in the region.

Victims include innocent bystanders, police officers, and soldiers, along with rival cartel gunmen.

Blanco Flores is no stranger to having run-ins with law enforcement. In 2010, he and two other Gulf Cartel associated crossed into Brownsville, Texas, and were eventually apprehended by federal authorities.

During his first hearing before a U.S. federal judge, Blanco Flores saw his family in the courtroom and began to sob loudly. For reasons that are not clear, prosecutors only charged Blanco Flores and the two others with one count of illegal re-entry–an immigration charge.

After spending two years in a federal lockup, Blanco Flores was deported to Mexico where he grew to become the regional head of the Gulf Cartel in Rio Bravo.

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