Mexico recaptures drug cartel outlaw 9 years later

September 12, 2011 - 11:00 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican marines recaptured a fugitive suspected trafficker who had been arrested 13 years earlier along with the man who was to become the Gulf Cartel's top leader, authorities said Monday.

Manuel Alquisires Garcia is the cartel's alleged finance officer, the Mexican navy said in a statement. He was captured by marines Saturday in the city of Tampico.

Alquisires, aka "El Meme," was originally arrested in June 1998 along with Osiel Cardenas Guillen.

Cardenas later escaped and went on to become the Gulf Cartel's leader before being recaptured in 2003. He was extradited to the U.S. in 2006 and sentenced last year to 25 years in federal prison.

Alquisires escaped from a prison in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, in 2002, three years after his arrest, prosecutors said Monday. Zetas hitmen, who at the time were still allied to the Gulf Cartel, allegedly orchestrated his escape.

He had evaded authorities until Saturday.

Alquisires is suspected of trafficking cocaine from Guatemala for the Gulf Cartel.

Also on Monday, the Mexican navy said it captured 13 gunmen, including a suspect in the killing of a marine, who said to be members of the Zetas drug cartel.

The navy said in a statement the men were arrested Friday in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and were carrying grenades and computers.