One small slice Monday of Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s war on drug cartels: two shootouts on the streets of two cities; a man and a woman ambushed in their car; at least four people dead; three soldiers wounded, one of them gravely. The confrontations between unidentified gunmen and Mexican army and federal police took place in the communities of San Nicolas de los Garza and Escobedo, near the U.S. border in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, the state-run Notimex news agency said.
A top Mexican drug cartel suspect has been arrested along with 12 accomplices, including five women, federal authorities said. Rodolfo Lopez Ibarra, known as El Nito and believed to be a top lieutenant in the Beltran Leyva cartel, was arrested Monday at an airport in Nuevo Leon state, said the Mexican National Defense secretary. Along with the suspects, officials said they also confiscated a Cessna 550 airplane, two cars, a large quantity of drugs and cash, firearms and a hand grenade