World Bulletin/News Desk
Mexico on Friday admitted it had mistakenly claimed to have captured a son of Mexico's most wanted drug lord, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, which the ruling party had hailed as a major victory in its war on cartels.
Mexican marines seized the man on Thursday outside Guadalajara and flew him to Mexico City, where they paraded him in front of the media and identified him as Jesus Alfredo Guzman, alias "El Gordo" or "The Fat One."
The man's lawyer, Veronica Guerrero, told a news conference earlier on Friday her client's real name was Felix Beltran and that he was an innocent car dealer.
The federal attorney general's office said late on Friday the man arrested was indeed Beltran, without giving any further details.
The mix-up is a major embarrassment for the government, which has been heavily criticized for failing to contain the violence and flow of drugs since President Felipe Calderon sent in the military to fight the cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.
Marines said they apprehended the man with an arsenal of rifles, pistols and grenades and about $160,000 in cash.
Javier Oliva, a political scientist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said the snafu showed how poor the coordination is between U.S. intelligence agencies as well as their cooperation with Mexican counterparts.
"This is really serious. Nothing like this has ever happened before," he said, wondering how the agencies had gone public on the arrest without making the proper checks. "The main responsibility here lies with the DEA."
Thursday's arrest won praise from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which has sought Jesus Alfredo Guzman since he was indicted for cocaine trafficking in 2009.
His father, the elder Guzman, faces dozens of charges of racketeering and drug smuggling in U.S. courts. There is a $5 million reward for his capture.
The arrest came just over a week before Mexicans vote for a leader to replace Calderon, whom the constitution bars from seeking a second term. Brutal clashes between drug cartels and Mexican authorities have killed more than 55,000 people since Calderon launched his crackdown on the gangs.
"This is confirmation that President Calderon's strategy doesn't work," said Alberto Islas, a security expert at consultancy Risk Evaluation. He said the botched arrest demonstrated the weakness of Mexico's own intelligence apparatus.
The candidate of Calderon's National Action Party, Josefina Vazquez Mota, is running in third place in most polls, partly because of public dissatisfaction over the drug war.
On Thursday, Vazquez Mota congratulated the marines on the arrest, in comments relayed around Mexico.
Enrique Pena Nieto, candidate for the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, has a double-digit lead in most polls heading into the July 1 election.
Kerry's talks in Muscat, Oman with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the EU's Catherine Ashton are due to take place two weeks before a Nov. 24 deadline
Washington Post reported that investigators had all but concluded there was not a sufficiently strong case to prove officer Darren Wilson violated the rights of 18-year-old Michael Brown when he killed him
The "sheer number and size and scope" of the flights also could pose a potential risk to civil aviation, he told a Pentagon press briefing.
One pilot was killed in the crash and his body was found in the wreckage, while the second pilot, who ejected and parachuted to the ground, survived with serious injuries
While she may travel freely in public, the judge decided that Hickox must continue direct monitoring of her health, coordinate travel plans with health officials and report any symptoms
Quintanilla's office said they had found the remains of U.S. citizens Erica Alvarado Rivera, 26; Alex Alvarado Rivera, 22; and Jose Angel Alvarado Rivera, 21.
Lieutenant Colonel Issaac Zida, the operational commander of the elite presidential guard, announced on radio that he was taking power.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby downplayed any disconnect with the White House and said U.S. officials were constantly reviewing Syria options
Kiir will be accompanied on his visit by a number of South Sudanese government ministers and officials.
Announcement follows unprecedented talks between Myanmar’s military, political leaders, major opposition parties
Tension has run high across the occupied West Bank since the Wednesday shooting of an extremist Jewish rabbi in Jerusalem
A perforation made in a subterranean water source during mining activities seemed to have caused the flooding
Al-Ahram said Egyptian authorities asked Moussa Ibrahim to leave the country at the request of the Libyan government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni
A fire broke out at France's public radio headquarters in Paris, forcing live programmes off the air as staff evacuated the vast Paris complex where major building work has been underway
Rula Ghani, spouse of Afghanistan's new president Ashraf Ghani, have already critised some Islamic norms welcomed by Afghan society.
At least 300 ISIL militants were killed and scores of vehicles captured in clashes