Authorities – without confrontation or casualities – apprehended José de Jesús Méndez Vargas, the alleged head of this Cartel.
The Mexican government has secured another victory against organized crime in the west of the country after they bagged the alleged leader of the pseudo-Christian La Familia Cartel without a shot being fired.
President Felipe Calderón celebrated the arrest on Twitter and wrote it was “a great blow by federal police against organized crime. One of the most wanted criminals captured. Congratulations.”
According to the Mexican Attorney General’s office, Méndez Vargas was responsible for the transfer and sale of cocaine, marijuana, and crystal methamphetamine in various states of Mexico and the US and having been the brains behind the kidnappings and killings of rival gang members.
The Cartel first received widespread attention four years ago when members rolled five severed heads into a Michoacán nightclub, vowing to protect local citizens from rival cartels.
Seemingly contradictory, La Familia believed they were doing “God’s work” and used pseudo-Christian ideology and passed out bibles while gruesomely decapitating rivals and selling cocaine and methamphetamine by the ton.
“La Familia Michoacána also gives money to school and local officials,” according to a US drug enforcement administration profile.
After Méndez Vargas’s arrest, 21 of the country’s 37 top drug traffickers have been apprehended or killed since 2009.
According to federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire, Méndez Vargas was the last remaining head of a criminal group responsible for homicides, kidnappings, extortion and corruption.
“With this arrest, what remained of the structure of this criminal organization has been destroyed,” said Poire.
The drug-related death toll in Mexico since 2006 is now more than 37,000, although local media say the number is closer to 40,000.