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Mario Cardenas Guillen, Alleged Gulf Cartel Leader, Captured In Mexico

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MARIO CARDENAS GUILLEN
Mexican Navy officers escort Mario Cardenas Guillen, also known as "El Gordo" and "M-1," during his presentation to the media in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) | AP

(AP) MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican navy says it has detained a top leader of the Gulf drug cartel.

Navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara says marines detained Mario Cardenas Guillen Tuesday in the northern city of Altamira.

Vergara says Cardenas Guillen is the brother of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who led the cartel until he was detained in 2003. Osiel Cardenas was extradited in 2007 to the United States and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

According to the LA Times, Cardenas Guillen is also known as 'El Gordo' (roughly, 'The Fat One' in English). The Times describes his presentation to the media as follows:

Wearing an armored vest and his shirttail hanging out, the balding, chubby Cardenas mostly cast his eyes downward, occasionally glancing to the side.

AFP notes a navy spokesman said Cardenas Guillen was found holding a "large weapon," as well as "three ammunition clips holding 30 bullets each, two grenades, 129,700 pesos ($9,850) in cash and four small plastic bags containing a white powder resembling cocaine."

The Gulf cartel's rivalry with the notoriously brutal Zetas cartel has diminished the group's power recently. Conservative estimates put the death toll in President Felipe Calderon's offensive against drug cartels at over 55,000 people.

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