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.
UNRWA, the main U.N. relief agency in Gaza, said it was at "breaking point" with more than 200,000 Palestinians having taken shelter in its schools and buildings
The dead and injured include not just Uighurs but members of China's majority Han Chinese population, the report said.
Three years after Gaddafi's fall, the OPEC nation has failed to control ex-rebel militias who refuse to disband and who are threatening the unity of the country
Providing many examples of ongoing debate around Gaza massacre among Zionists, Philip Weiss from Mondoweiss draws an important picture
Called Abdullah al-Maaraji, the slain officer was the commander of the Yemeni army's infantry brigade that fought against Al-Qaeda in Lawdar District in 2012
The White House has been working closely with lawmakers, privacy experts and technology companies to secure Senate passage of what it considers critical legislation
"Israel's targeting of civilians proves its failure to confront the Palestinian resistance," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.
Propaganda materials from the National Liberation Army (ELN), which regularly attacks oil facilities in Latin America's fourth largest economy, were left at the sites of the explosions, police
In the latest Israeli attacks in the embattled territory on Tuesday, two people were killed when Israeli troops shelled eastern Rafah. An Israeli raid also targeted a house in the southern city of Khan Younis, killing 17 family members.
The ruling Communist Party has decided to probe Zhou for suspected "serious disciplinary violations", the official Xinhua news agency said in a brief dispatch, using the usual euphemism for corruption.
The African country is sliding into a state of anarchy as rival militia forces battle for control in the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi.
Syria, Central African Republic and Burma lead the world in displacing people on grounds of religious identities, according to report
Militants group stormed the Katarko town, about 25km from Damaturu, the provincial capital of northeastern Yobe state, and shot dead eight people
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit southwest of Clara, Veracruz, was felt in Mexico City
A 21-year-old Palestinian, Alaa Azaer, died of gunshot injuries he sustained in clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians protesting a deadly Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip
The labels Belgium has in mind would mainly apply to fruit and vegetables grown in Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley of the West Bank