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article imageMexican police claim to have 'dismembered' La Familia drug gang

By Michael Krebs     Jan 1, 2011 in Crime
Mexico's federal police has claimed a major victory over the 'La Familia' drug cartel - one of the most bloody gangs operating within the embattled country.
In what could be seen as a turning point in Mexico's violent war against organized drug cartels, Mexican federal police claim to have "completely dismembered" the bloody La Familia narcotics gang, according to the Press Association.
La Familia has been a particularly brutal thorn in the side of the Mexican government, intimidating federal police with extreme violence and terrorizing business owners throughout the nearly lawless state of Michoacan. The cartel was headed by a quasi-religious leader, Nazario Moreno González - also known as "the crazy one" among English translations - who justified beheadings and other assassinations as a sort of divine justice.
The Crazy One was killed on December 9 in a shoot-out with Mexican police, and his death is believed to have begun the unraveling of the organization.
"Following the death of Nazario, the Familia Michoacana, as we know it, has been completely dismembered," federal police official Luis Cardenas Palomino told a news conference, according to the Press Association.
However, the overall drug war in Mexico has produced staggering death tolls across the country. A December 17 CNN International report put the death toll at more than 30,000 since December 2006, when Mexican President Felipe Calderon began to push hard against the cartel establishment.
Mexican federal police assured the public that La Familia has been broken into smaller pieces - and that these smaller operations are more desperate and prone to making mistakes.
"What are left are little groups that are isolated and completely disorganised," Mr. Cardenas Palomino said, according to the Press Association report. "They have been committing bank robberies and robbing businesses to get money...This makes them more vulnerable."
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