A suspected drug lord, whose arrest sparked clashes in north-eastern Mexico, has been deported to the US.
Juan Gerardo Treviño, also known as “El Huevo” or “The Egg,” was captured at dawn on Monday by Mexican authorities.
A violent gun fight between the military and gang members ensued in Nuevo Laredo, a city on the Mexico-US border.
A US citizen and on the “most wanted” list, he is facing drug trafficking and money laundering charges there.
He is also facing charges for murder, terrorism, extortion and criminal association, Mexico’s government told Reuters news agency.
The capture of the high-profile cartel leader is “one of the most important arrests of the last decade”, Mexican Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard told local news outlet CB Televisión.
Juan Treviño was arrested in the state of Tamaulipas, one of Mexico’s most violent regions. A few days earlier, local authorities had announced a $100,000 reward for his capture.
He is accused of leading a powerful criminal organisation, the Northeast Cartel, which is thought to hold power in at least five US states, according to Mexico’s Secretary of Security Rosa Rodriguez, quoted by Reuters news agency.
Mr Treviño’s family is also connected with organised crime groups in Mexico. His uncle is Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, once the leader of the infamous drug cartel Los Zetas. Now serving a life sentence, he was accused of ordering massacres and running drugs on a global scale.
Los Zetas members became particularly infamous for their brutality, often torturing and decapitating their victims. The gang is now largely disbanded and has splintered into several groups, including the Northeast Cartel, which authorities say Juan Treviño lead.
Arrest leads to street violence
Following Mr Treviño’s arrest, violence erupted on the streets of Nuevo Laredo between members of his cartel and the military. Some 700 troops and four military helicopters were needed to secure the area, which is situated opposite Laredo in Texas.
Videos shared on social media showed large lorries on fire and roads blocked. Several international bridges between the US and Mexico were closed due to the unrest.
Mexico’s secretary of national defence said that 38 government facilities and 22 military headquarters were attacked. The US consulate in the city also confirmed it was damaged and was forced to close temporarily.
The state of Tamaulipas is known for violent killings and disappearances, often linked to powerful drug cartels who battle for territory.
Many migrants also try to cross the border into Texas from there.