Mexican authorities arrested Jose de Jesus Mendez, known as "El Chango," or "The Monkey," the alleged leader of the Familia Cartel and one of the nation's most-wanted traffickers.
Mendez was captured today in the central state of Aguascalientes by members of the federal police, government security spokesman Alejandro Poire said today. He said the arrest was the government's "strongest blow" against the cartel, which a U.S. congressional report last month classified as "an extremely violent drug trafficking organization", informs San Francisco Chronicle.
Mr. Méndez took over leadership of the La Familia gang, a cult-like group that used a mixture of violence and good works to generate local support, after federal forces killed the cartel's messianic founder, Nazario Moreno, in December, says Wall Street Journal.
Mexico's Attorney General's Office had offered a 30 million peso ($2.5 million) reward for information leading to his arrest, saying Mendez was the mastermind behind drug trafficking, kidnappings and killings, reports CNN.