Page last updated at 07:38 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

'Key drugs player' held in Mexico

By Stephen Gibbs
BBC News, Mexico City

File image of cocaine and US dollars seized by Mexican police in Tijuana on 13 January 2009
Huge quantities of Colombian cocaine are sent to the US via Mexico

Federal Police in Mexico say they have arrested a key player in the drug trafficking trade.

Geronimo Gamez Garcia was detained close to Mexico City.

He is suspected of being the logistics coordinator for a powerful cartel involved in trafficking cocaine from Colombia to the US via Mexico.

The Mexican police say that with this arrest they have dealt an important blow to one of the country's most powerful drug cartels.

They describe Mr Gamez Garcia as the money and logistics man in the Beltran Leyva organisation, with direct responsibility for buying high-quality cocaine from Colombia.

He is known to have frequently travelled to both Colombia and Panama, and believed to have been a personal guarantor for cocaine purchases worth several million dollars.

He was picked up near Mexico City along with eight other people, including at least one Colombian who is understood to have been the Mexican cartel's main contact with their suppliers.

The Mexican government has launched an all-out assault on the drug gangs which operate throughout this country.

One consequence has been an explosion of violence, with the cartels fighting both federal forces and each other as they try to maintain control of lucrative routes.

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