The alleged leader of the Juarez drug cartel has been arrested in the northern city of Torreon, Mexican officials said today. Vicento Carrillo Fuentes, 51, purportedly heads the cartel founded by his late brother, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, and both the US and Mexico had million-dollar rewards for his arrest. Carrillo Fuentes, better known as "The Viceroy" or "The General," took over control of the Juarez drug cartel after his brother Amado, nicknamed "The Lord of the Skies," died in 1997 in a botched cosmetic surgery. Amado got his nickname by flying planeloads of drugs into the United States. It was the second capture of a major drug lord in as many weeks: Mexican authorities nabbed Hector Beltran Leyva as he ate fish tacos in a seafood restaurant in central Mexico on Oct. 1.
The back-to-back arrests come as Mexico's federal government is under international pressure over the forced disappearance of 43 students by police and a possible massacre of 22 suspected gang members by soldiers. Everyone from outraged Mexicans to the United Nations is demanding justice and accountability in the two cases. Carrillo Fuentes, who like many top drug lords was from Sinaloa state, had a $5 million reward on his head from US authorities and $2.2 million in Mexico. He faces a 46-count indictment in Texas, charging him with, among other things, trafficking in cocaine and marijuana, money laundering, and murder in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise.