Mexico arrested over 11,500 for drug crimes in 2011
MEXICO CITY—The Mexican army has arrested over 11,500 people linked to drug trafficking so far this year, while 192 illegal drug labs were destroyed, officials said Monday.
In an annual report, Mexico’s defense ministry provided details of operations by the armed forces mobilized since 2006 under President Felipe Calderon’s war on drug traffickers.
It said authorities had destroyed 12,584 hectares (31,095 acres) and 14,798 hectares (36,567 acres) of opium poppies, as well as seized 1,575 tons of marijuana and nearly six tons of cocaine. They also seized $26 million and 78 million pesos ($5.8 million).
Some 15,000 vehicles, 53 airplanes, 35 boats, 1,306 cell phones and 30,000 firearms were taken as well.
Among the most significant arrests was that of Carlos Oliva Castilla, alias “La Rana” (The Frog), a Zetas cartel leader thought to have masterminded the Monterrey casino attack that left 52 people dead in August.
Over 45,000 people have been killed since Calderon launched a major military crackdown involving 50,000 troops against the powerful drug cartels that have terrorized border communities as they have battled over lucrative smuggling routes.
In one of the latest crimes linked to the drug war, unidentified gunmen shot and killed local police chief Emmanuel Almaguer Perez and his 15-year-old son Monday in the northeastern city of Saltillo using high caliber rifles.
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