Another Alleged Top Mexican Drug Lord Caught
Federal Mexican authorities apprehended Teodoro “El Teo” Garcia Simental in Baja California early Tuesday morning, the New York Times reports. Garcia was apprehended after five months of pursuit by Mexican authorities with the help of United States anti-drug officials. The arrest has been lauded as evidence of success for enhanced surveillance techniques, which are being refined in Mexico with US assistance. Garcia is allegedly responsible for the steep increase in violence in Tijuana, the major boarder city across from San Diego, CA. Recently, a hitman known as “the soup maker” had confessed to dissolving hundreds of bodies in acid on orders from Garcia. Garcia is thought to be responsible for the assassination of dozens of Tijuana police, and reportedly had recently stepped up efforts to kill Baja California’s attorney general and Tijuana’s public safety chief.
This arrest comes on the heels of the capture of Arturo Beltran Leyva, a drug lord who was killed on December 6 during a shoot out with authorities. The United State’s Drug Enforcement Agency played a role in facilitating that arrest as well.
This recent up swing in victories for anti-drug trafficking forces has wide implications for the role Felipe Calderon is playing in seizing drug traffickers, largely considered a national security issue. The US involvement in across-the-border operations within Mexico raises several legal concerns, including issues with jurisdiction, surveillance and separation of powers.