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El Sillas” Arrested In Tijuana; Responsible For 2008 Wave Of Violence

Aired 11/7/11 on KPBS News.

Mexican federal officials have arrested a top drug cartel member in Tijuana, allegedly responsible for countless deaths and a wave of violence in 2008.

— Juan Francisco Sillas Rocha, also known as "El Sillas" had been leading an independent gun-for-hire and kidnapping ring, but he is better known as a right-hand man for the Felix Arellano criminal organization, which controlled drug trade in Tijuana for more than 20 years.

"'El Sillas' is considered to be one of the most violent subjects, responsible for countless murders, said Colonel Ricardo Trevilla Trejo, a Mexican Army spokesperson, speaking to reporters in Mexico City. "He carried out orders from Fernando Sanchez Arellano, known as 'El Ingeniero,' who was directly responsible for the rise in violence in 2008."

"El Sillas" was charged with battling the rival Sinaloa Cartel over drug trafficking routes into the United States, causing one of the bloodiest episodes in the Drug War to date.

Sillas Rocha joins a growing list of arrests or killings of Arellano Felix cartel members over the last four years.

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