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Last Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008, 23:02 GMT
Mexico arrests top drugs suspect
Soldiers escort top drugs suspect Alfredo Beltran Leyva
Soldiers are being increasingly used to combat Mexico's gangs
Mexican special forces have captured a man suspected of being a senior member of the powerful Sinaloa drugs cartel.

Alfredo Beltran Leyva was detained on Sunday in the north-western city of Culiacan along with three other people, an army spokesman said.

They were allegedly carrying $900,000 (460,000) in cash in two suitcases and a Kalashnikov rifle.

Mexico is in the grip of so-called "narco wars" - the fight between drug cartels and the security forces.

Dressed in jeans, a dark jacket and boots, the handcuffed Mr Beltran Leyva was shown off to reporters before being flown to an unknown destination by the military.

Prosecutors say he is a close associate of Mexico's most wanted man, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, head of the Sinaloa cartel.

He was allegedly in charge of transporting drugs, bribing officials and laundering money for the cartel.

He is also said to have commanded teams of sicarios, or hitmen.

Bodies found after Mexican raid
18 Jan 08 |  Americas
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01 Dec 06 |  Country profiles

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