- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Soldiers and federal police arrested an alleged member of the Zetas drug gang who authorities say is one of 12 cartel members fueling an increase of violence in the border state of Tamaulipas, a top official said Tuesday.

Federal police chief Monte Alejandro Rubido said federal forces arrested Juan Fernando Alvarez Cortez at a toll booth in the town of Sabinas Hidalgo in Nuevo Leon state, which neighbors Tamaulipas.

Alvarez Cortez was riding a passenger bus trying to avoid detection by authorities when he was detained Saturday, Rubido said.

He said Alvarez Cortez is the Zetas leader in Ciudad Victoria, capital of Tamaulipas state, where violence has increased recently. Tamaulipas shares a long border with southernmost Texas, running from Laredo to Brownsville.

Last week, federal authorities announced a security plan for the state and said they would target 12 drug cartel members who are behind the surge in bloodshed.

Tamaulipas has been the scene of bloody turf battles between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas. Once one of Mexico’s most violent states, it had calmed somewhat by 2012, but violence has re-ignited in recent months.

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