MEXICO CITY - A top leader of Mexicos Gulf Cartel was captured Saturday in a military operation near the Texas border, the second major capture of a drug capo since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office last December.
Mexico's government said the army netted Mario Armando Ramirez Trevino, a drug boss in Reynosa who had been vying to take over the cartel since the arrest of the Gulf's top capo, Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, alias "El Coss," last September. Some say he succeeded, while others say the cartel continues to be split into factions.
The U.S. State Department is offering a reward of $5 million for his capture. Ramirez, who was born in 1962 according to the U.S. government, is wanted on several federal drug violations.
Tamaulipas state government spokesman Rafael Luque said there was a major operation of the Mexican military about 1 p.m. local time Saturday with helicopters in the town of Rio Bravo. He could not confirm if there were deaths or injuries in the offensive.
The once-powerful Gulf Cartel still controls most of the cocaine and marijuana trafficking through the Matamoros corridor across the border from Brownsville, Texas, and has an international reach into Central America and beyond. But the cartel has been plagued by infighting since Costilla's arrest, while also being under attack in its home territory by its former security arm, the Zetas.