Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mexico Offers Rewards for 33 Drug Gang Suspects

Via (AP) -

Mexico's government unveiled a list of 33 wanted drug suspects Friday, including three men allegedly tied to a cartel responsible for much of the bloodshed in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.

The Attorney General's Office did not specify the criminal bands affiliated with each suspect.

However, a security official in the northern state of Chihuahua, where Ciudad Juarez is located, said the three at the top of the list belong to La Linea, a gang tied to the Juarez cartel. Rewards of $1.1 million (15 million pesos) were offered for each.

One of the three, Juan Pablo Ledezma, is believed to be the head of La Linea, said the official, who is with the joint army and police operation in charge of security in Chihuahua. He agreed to discuss the list only on condition of not being quoted by name, because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

A turf battle between the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels has turned Ciudad Juarez into one of the world's deadliest cities. More than 4,300 people have been killed over the past three years in the city, which lies across the border from El Paso, Texas.


The Attorney General's Office offered rewards of $387,000 (5 million pesos) each for five other suspects on the list. The other 25 had $232,000 (3 million peso) bounties on their heads.

Officials at the Attorney General's Office did not responded to requests for more information on the suspects.

Last year, the government issued a list of its most-wanted drug traffickers. It offered rewards of $2 million for the leaders of Mexico's six major cartels and $1 million for their lieutenants.

Ledezma also appeared on last year's list, described as a lieutenant of the Juarez cartel. It was unclear if the Attorney General's Office is offering an additional $1 million reward for Ledezma because of his inclusion in both lists.

Several kingpins named on the list released last year have been caught or killed, including Arturo Beltran Leyva, who died in a gunbattle with marines in December.


Authorities have not said whether rewards were given for any of the drug lords captured or killed.

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