A former top official in Mexico’s western state of Michoacan has been arrested accused of holding meetings with top bosses from the Knights Templar drug cartel.
Jesus Murillo Karam, the attorney general, said on Monday that an investigation confirmed that Jesus Reyna, a member of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, met the notorious cartel.
“We can be certain that meetings between this person with [cartel] leaders, I would even say with the most important leader of the organisations that operate there,” Karam said.
Reyna was sacked as Michoacan’s secretary of the interior after authorities placed him under arrest on Saturday.
Leaders of vigilante militias, that rose up against the cartel in Michoacan last year, have repeatedly accused Reyna of having links to the Knights Templar cartel.
A March 2012 Michoacan public security document obtained by the AFP news agency alleged that Reyna held three meetings with cartel leader, Servando Gomez, alias “La Tuta”.
Authorities have now captured or killed three of the four Knights Templar leaders, except for Gomez.
Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s president, has deployed 10,000 troops and federal police in an attempt to contain the ongoing violence in the western state.
A judge has placed Reyna, who served as interim governor for six months last year, under detention for up to 40 days while prosecutors decide whether to charge him.