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Mexico captures 'El Teo,' top drug trafficker in Tijuana

The capture of alleged Tijuana drug trafficker Teodoro “El Teo” Garcia Simental marks the third high-profile take-down of a Mexican drug trafficker in less than a month. He is considered among the most vicious traffickers in the country.

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Alleged Tijuana drug trafficker known as 'El Teo' (c.) is guarded by federal police as he is presented to the press in Mexico City, Tuesday.

Alexandre Meneghini/AP

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One might call it Mexican President Felipe Calderon's own drug war hat-trick.

Today Mexican officials announced the capture of alleged Tijuana drug trafficker Teodoro “El Teo” Garcia Simental, believed to be behind a recent spate of gruesome violence in the troubled border town. His arrest marks the third high-profile take-down of a Mexican drug trafficker in less than a month.

It's a much-needed political victory for President Calderon, who, despite dispatching 45,000 troops across the country to stop organized crime, had not been able to boast of many high-profile arrests in his first three years in office.

And while some critics say it will make little difference in the nation-wide fight to clamp down on crime that has sullied Mexico’s reputation worldwide, it definitely bodes well for the region.

“This is a big deal for Baja California, and particularly for Tijuana, because of the very violent tendencies exhibited by ‘El Teo’ and his organization,” says David Shirk, a Woodrow Wilson Center fellow and professor at the University of San Diego.

Law enforcement officials told the Associated Press said that Mr. Garcia Simental was arrested at 5 a.m. in La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur.

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