Mexico detains cartel leader, local politician in 2 raids

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican prosecutors say they have detained one of the leaders of the Gulf Cartel, and in a related raid at a different house found a local politician with three guns.

The federal Attorney General’s Office said late Wednesday that the raids took place earlier this week in the town of Salinas Victoria, just outside of Monterrey in the northern border state of Nuevo Leon.

Agents detained Evaristo Cruz, alias “El Vaquero” (The Cowboy), at one house with two other men, guns, cash and radios, prosecutors said. Cruz is reputedly a leader of the “Cyclones” faction of the splintered Gulf Cartel, based in the neighboring state of Tamaulipas.

Working on the same search warrant, agents detained local politician Raúl Cantú at another home, where three guns and possible marijuana were allegedly found. Cantú is running for mayor of the town on the ticket of the small Citizen’s Movement Party.

The party said in a statement that the guns at Cantú’s house were apparently hunting weapons owned by his father. But it also said that if he had committed any crime, the party would cooperate in the investigation.

On Cantu’s Facebook page, a statement posted by his lawyers claimed that agents had made a mistake in raiding his house, saying it was not mentioned in the search warrant. The legal team also said the hunting guns were legally registered to Cantú’s father, who is deceased.

Prosecutors alleged that Cantú attempted to bribe the agents into releasing him.

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