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Mexico captures leader of Tijuana cartel

Mexican troops have arrested the head of the Tijuana drug cartel, who for years had eluded capture by US and Mexican justice, officials said.

MEXICO CITY: Mexican troops have arrested the head of the Tijuana drug cartel, who for years had eluded capture by US and Mexican justice, officials said on Tuesday.

Fernando Sanchez Arellano, 37, also known as "El Ingeniero" (The Engineer) was arrested in a military raid in Tijuana on Monday, an official in the attorney general's office said.

Local news reports said he was arrested at home while watching Monday's World Cup contest between Mexico and Croatia.

Mexico had offered a US$2.3 million bounty for information leading to his arrest.

Once one of Mexico's most notorious drug trafficking operations, the influence of the Tijuana Cartel has waned amid bloody turf wars with rivals, notably against the powerful Sinaloa cartel.

Sanchez Arellano is a nephew of the Arellano Felix brothers who once ran the cartel.

The Arellano Felix brothers once dominated drug trafficking between Mexico and California through their brutal Tijuana cartel, inspiring characters in the Steven Soderbergh movie "Traffic."

Most of the siblings have been either killed or arrested, leaving the cartel in tatters.

Football has proved a precarious past time for Mexico's alleged drug criminals during this month's World Cup.

Police in Brazil last week arrested a suspected Mexican drug trafficker wanted by the United States en route to a World Cup game.

Jose Diaz Barajas, 49, was captured last week in Rio de Janeiro's airport before he could board a flight to the northeastern city of Fortaleza, where Brazil were due to play Mexico.

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