Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Mexico arrests 'top trafficker'

Hector Huerta Rios on 25 March
Hector Huerta Rios is accused of working for the Beltran Leyva cartel

Mexican soldiers have arrested a man the authorities say is a key figure in one of the country's main drug gangs.

Hector Huerta Rios was detained in the northern city of Monterrey a day after his name appeared along with 36 others listed as Mexico's most-wanted.

The Mexican government is offering rewards of up to $2m (£1.37m) each for information leading to the arrest of the drug lords and their lieutenants.

It was not clear if any money had been paid in this case.

Hector Huerta Rios was listed as a key member of the Beltran Leyva cartel with a $1m price tag on his head.

He is accused of being the main operator in the north of Mexico for the gang, whose base is on the Pacific coast.

Mr Huerta Rios was arrested in Monterrey on Tuesday afternoon, together with four bodyguards, Gen Luis Arturo Oliver told a news conference.

His detention was announced hours before US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was due to begin a two-day visit to Mexico.

US and Mexican agencies are increasing their co-operation as the gang violence spills over the border, where kidnaps and killings are on the rise.

On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced plans to deploy more US agents and equipment along the border.

Some 8,000 people have died in the past two years, as drug gangs fight for territory amid government crackdowns.

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