Third Mexican mayor bust over cartel

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iol news pic Mexico Drug Politics AP FILE - An armed man from a self-defense group stands with his weapon at the entrance of Apatzingan in Michoacan state, Mexico. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

Mexico City - A Mexican judge has ordered another mayor held for trial on charges of aiding a drug cartel, the fourth official to face such charges in recent months.

Mayor Jesus Cruz Valencia of the mountain town of Aguililla will be tried on organized crime charges for his alleged links to the Knights Templar cartel.

Two other mayors and the former acting governor of Michoacan have been arrested on similar charges.

The national Judiciary Council said Friday that Cruz Valencia will be held at a federal prison in the state of Nayarit.

The Knights Templar cartel dominated broad swaths of the state's economy and forged strong ties to local officials.

Vigilante “self-defense” forces rose up to fight the cartel's extortion demands in 2013.


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