- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2009

MEXICO CITY | Mexico has detained one of its most wanted drug suspects, Vicente Carrillo Leyva, who reportedly was the second in command of the powerful Juarez cartel, the federal Attorney General’s Office said Thursday.

The announcement came hours before the Obama administration’s top security officials and their Mexican counterparts met to discuss ways to stop arms smuggling across the border as well as new strategies for fighting the drug cartels, which have fueled violence in both countries.

Federal police said Mr. Carrillo Leyva, 32, was caught while he was exercising in a park in a posh Mexico City neighborhood early Wednesday.

Mr. Carrillo Leyva is the son of drug kingpin Amado Carrillo Fuentes, who was one of Mexico’s most important drug traffickers before he died during plastic surgery to change his appearance in 1997.

Mr. Carrillo Fuentes was nicknamed “the Lord of the Skies” because of his success in sending planeloads of cocaine in to the United States. After his death, Mr. Carrillo Fuentes’ brother Vicente took over the cartel and Mr. Carrillo Leyva became second in command, the Attorney General’s Office said.

Officials displayed Mr. Carrillo Leyva at a news conference early Thursday, bringing a young man in glasses and a track suit before flashing cameras.

A week ago, the Attorney General’s Office named Mr. Carrillo Leyva to a list of the country’s most-wanted narcotics suspects and offered $2.1 million for his capture.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. met Thursday with Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina-Mora and Interior Minister Fernando Gomez-Mont in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The officials decided to create a cross-border group to develop strategies for stopping the illegal flow of guns and drugs between the two countries.

Last week, troops arrested another figure on the most-wanted list, Hector Huerta, who was accused of controlling the flow of drugs through the northern city of Monterrey for the powerful Beltran-Leyva cartel.

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