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Mexican drug gang 'leader' detained

Mexican marines have detained one of the leaders of the La Familia drug gang which controlled Mexico State, near Mexico City, a senior security official said.

Jose Maria Chavez was arrested in the central state of Guanajuato, according to national security commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido, who said Chavez headed the gang's activities in Mexico State.

The La Familia gang originated in the neighbouring state of Michoacan, but by 2011 it had been displaced by the Knights Templar cartel. La Familia members then focused on Mexico State, where they have been implicated in killings and extortion.

Mexico State was the scene of a confrontation on Monday in which 22 suspected members of the Guerreros Unidos gang were killed in a gun battle with Mexican troops. One soldier was wounded.

The arrest of Chavez appeared unrelated to the shootout.

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