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Mexico in Brief: Michoacan cartel leader extradited to US

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'El Rigo' to face trial in New York on drugs and weapons charges. Plus, gun battles in rural Chihuahua leave at least 4 dead

Weapons, ammo, money and drugs seized are presented to the press in Mexico City, on August 3, 2009, following the arrest of members of “La Familia Michoacana” drug gang in Michoacan state, Mexico. The Mexican government had deployed more than 5,000 soldiers and policemen at the Michoacan state to fight drug trafficking. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The Mexican government has handed over for prosecution in the United States one of the leaders of a Michoacan-based drug cartel.

Rigoberto Renteria Andrade (photo courtesy Government of Mexico)

The extradition of Rigoberto Andrade Renteria, a.k.a. “El Rigo” and “Rigoberto Renteria-Andrade,” took place on Wednesday at Toluca International Airport, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said.

Andrade is among the cadre of La Familia Michoacana (LFM) leaders under indictment on drug, conspiracy and weapons charges in the Southern District of New York.

According to the indictment, La Familia Michoacana “is a violent and heavily armed drug-trafficking cartel based in the southwestern region of Mexico (that) controls drug manufacturing and distribution […] including the importation of vast quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico to the United States.”

La Familia uses violence to support drug-trafficking activities, including assaults, killings, and kidnappings; its U.S.-based associates have acquired military-grade weapons, including assault weapons and ammo that they’ve smuggled back to Mexico, the indictment says.

Gun battles leave several dead in rural Chihuahua state

Two separate shootings have left at least four people dead and several others injured in the past two days in rural Chihuahua state, Mexican news outlets report.

A running gun battle between criminal gangs took place over the course of two days in the community of Las Pomas, near Madera, beginning on Tuesday night, Diario de Chihuahua reported.

Mexican army and National Guard units retook control of the town late Wednesday after a firefight, Diario reported. The soldiers found four bodies inside a lumber mill; three of them recently deceased and one already decomposing.

In Cuauhtémoc, a separate shooting left one person dead and five other injured Thursday morning, Diario reported. The victims were farmworkers on their way to the apple orchards in the town.

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