Mexico arrests alleged leader of Beltran Leyva cartel

Mexico has arrested, Francisco Javier Hernandez Garcia, alias "2000," the alleged leader of the remnants of the once-powerful Beltran Leyva drug cartel (AFP Photo/Luis Acosta)

Mexico City (AFP) - Mexico has arrested the alleged leader of the remnants of the once-powerful Beltran Leyva drug cartel, officials said Monday.

Francisco Javier Hernandez Garcia, alias "2000," was arrested Saturday in Sinaloa state on charges of running drug trafficking operations from five northern Mexican states into the United States.

Hernandez Garcia, 47, is accused of taking over the cartel after the 2014 arrest of Hector "The H" Beltran Leyva, the last of the five brothers who founded the gang, said National Security Commissioner Renato Sales.

The Beltran Leyva cartel, which split violently from recently recaptured drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa cartel, was one of Mexico's most powerful drug gangs in the 2000s.

But its power began to decline in 2009, when the army killed kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva, "The Boss of Bosses."

Hernandez Garcia allegedly started out as a bodyguard for the Beltran Leyva family in the 1990s, then worked his way up as the authorities took out the organization's leaders.

He is accused of striking an alliance with the Zeta cartel to fight the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels in a bloody turf war.

He featured on the Mexican government's list of 122 most-wanted drug traffickers.

He was arrested along with another man in a vehicle carrying four guns and suspected drugs, said Sales.

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