Federal Police have arrested a man they say is a leader of the Los Rojos cartel in southwestern Morelos, where he is suspected of having recruited a network of police officers.
José Ignacio Vázquez Calderón, also known as “El Machín,” faces charges of organized crime, extortion and kidnapping.
Federal prosecutors say he is a member of the inner circle of cartel leader Santiago Mazari Hernández, also known as “El Carrete.” They say they have evidence that Vázquez visited Mazari on several occasions.
Working under Los Rojos plaza boss Manuel Peralta Jaime, Vázquez extorted businesses and local governments and was in charge of a cartel cell that hung narco-banners. Peralta was arrested last May in Zacatepec.
Vázquez is also accused of recruiting and managing a network of corrupt police officers in Morelos who would warn gang members about police operations.
Police located Vázquez with the help of the National Intelligence Center. He was taken into custody in Xochitepec without incident.
Los Rojos is a criminal group that operates mostly in Morelos and Guerrero. According to Morelos officials, fighting between Los Rojos and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel is the cause of much of the violence in Morelos.