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Mexican drug lord caught while eating birthday cake.

Gilberto Barragan Balderas, right, is escorted by police officers as he is presented to the media in Mexico City, Friday, May 20, 2011, Photo Credit AP Associated Press

Yesterday, mexican police captured a leading member of the Gulf drug cartel at his birthday party at a ranch near the Mexican border city of Reynosa which is across from McAllen, Texas.

Gilberto Barragan Balderas “is considered one of the main drug lords of the Gulf Cartel’’, according to a source of the antidrug operations dept for the federal police.

The Public Security Secretariat (SSP) reported that Barragan was part of the second-ring leadership structure of the Gulf Cartel, led by Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, and was responsible for the drug market in the city of  Miguel Aleman, as was one of the most trusted men of drug trafficking.

The town of Miguel Aleman, is across the border from Roma, Texas. Police said the party was apparently in honor of Barragan Balderas’s birthday.
Along with him the police also arrested Romeo Eduardo Mejía González, brother of Juan Reyes, R1, and Sergio Guerra Castañón, which also netted an assault rifle and three pistols.

The U.S. Justice Department said that Barragan was responsible for counterintelligence on Mexico’s military and police forces to detect the operations against the cartel organization.

Since 2008, faces two federal charges in the District of Columbia DC for operations with tons of cocaine and marijuana, and is in the list of “priority targets” of the U.S. government.

Barragan Balderas, 41, is wanted by the DEA on drug trafficking charges in the United States under a 2008 indictment.

DEA also informed that Barragan was “responsible for obtaining advanced notice regarding the movement and locations of military and state police patrols and mobile checkpoints, thus protecting shipments of cocaine and marijuana for the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas” before the two gangs split in 2010.

The Gulf and Zetas cartels are now rivals, and Mexican federal police said one of Barragan Balderas’ “responsibilities was to protect territory in Tamaulipas against attacks by the rival Zetas.”

On Friday, President Felipe Calderon met with a delegation of U.S. lawmakers led by Rep. Connie Mack, a Florida Republican who is chairman of the House subcommittee on Western Hemisphere affairs.

During the meeting with the American legislators, President Calderon talked about “the importance of fighting ever more firmly and efficiently weapons trafficking and money laundering.”  These two elements have been fueling the drug war that has cost over 35,000 lives since late 2006.