Nacha Cattan and Christine Jenkins
March 10, 2014

Mexico gunned down a top drug cartel leader three years after he had been reported killed by the previous administration, the government said.

The army and marines tracked down Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, alias “El Chayo,” yesterday after local authorities reported he was still alive, Monte Alejandro Rubido, executive secretary of the National Public Security System said. The troops opened fire after Moreno refused to drop his weapon and confronted them, Rubido said at a press conference. Moreno’s fingerprints matched those in government files, officials said.

President Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration has captured or killed the heads of Mexico’s biggest cartels since taking office in December 2012, most recently arresting Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the most-wanted drug baron in the world. Contradicting reports of Moreno’s death by former President Felipe Calderon, Rubido said he was still operating as the top cartel leader in Michoacan state, where extortion threats have led thousands of Mexicans to take up weapons in the past year to fight off drug gangs.

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