MEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities on Saturday confirmed the capture of a leader of the Gulf Cartel, describing him as responsible for much of the violence in the U.S. border city of Reynosa in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.
Jose Tiburcio Hernandez Fuentes was captured Friday and transferred to Mexico city, despite a shootout between the Mexican Army and police and around 60 of Hernandez’s gunmen who tried to rescue him.
Reports on Friday suggested authorities had detained a different leader, Jose Hugo Rodriguez Sanchez, who was arrested last year.
Hernandez worked his way up into the Gulf Cartel’s hierarchy as its leaders were imprisoned or killed.
Reynosa has been one of the most violent cities in Mexico over the past year, racked by turf wars among the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, two drug gangs fighting for control of border smuggling routes and crime rackets.
More than 100,000 people have died in gang-related violence in Mexico over the past eight years. President Enrique Pena Nieto pledged to restore order when he took office in 2012, but although the homicide count has fallen, parts of the country remain mired in violence.