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Page last updated at 19:35 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 20:35 UK

Mexico arrests 'drug cartel boss'

Mexican federal police - 12/3/2009
Mexico's police and army are fighting a deadly battle with the cartels

Mexican police have arrested one of the country's most-wanted alleged drug traffickers, authorities have said.

Federal police said they arrested the suspect, Vicente Carrillo Leyva, while he was exercising in a park near his home in Mexico City.

He is believed to be the deputy leader of the Juarez cartel and is accused of money laundering and cocaine smuggling.

Mexico's authorities are battling a wave of violence by drug gangs fighting over smuggling routes to the US.

'Businessman'

After his arrest, Vicente Carrillo Leyva - still in his sports gear - was paraded in front of the press.

He appeared to be resigned to his fate, the BBC's Stephen Gibbs in Mexico City says.

Mr Carrillo Leyva is understood to have been living under a false name in one of the capital's wealthiest suburbs, telling anybody who asked that he was a businessman, our correspondent says.

The Juarez cartel - also known as the Carrillo Fuentes organisation, after Mr Carrillo Leyva's late father - is active in the border town of Ciudad Juarez.

The authorities are 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 immediately known if any money has been paid after Mr Carrillo Leyva's arrest.


'America's appetite'

The arrest came hours before US and Mexican security officials were to discuss new strategies for staunching the flow of drugs north into the US and the smuggling of guns and money south into Mexico.

Late last month the Mexican government published a list of the country's most-wanted drug kingpins.

Another suspected cartel figure, Hector Huerta Rios, was arrested on 25 March in the northern city of Monterrey.

He was accused of being the main operator in the north of Mexico for the Beltran Leyva cartel, whose base is on the Pacific coast.

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

On a visit to Mexico last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said America's appetite for drugs and its inability to stop arms crossing the border were helping fuel the violence.

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