U.S. federal authorities arrested more than 70 people this week in the United States as part of what one official called a "successful, strategic and surgical strike" against a notoriously violent Mexico-based drug cartel.
An alleged drug cartel boss killed in clashes with Mexican authorities was also a "spiritual leader" who used religion to recruit criminals and strengthen his stronghold, according to a Mexican government report.
Mexican authorities were searching Wednesday for two politicians accused of belonging to the Familia Michoacana drug cartel, which is blamed for killing more than 30 federal police officers in a series of attacks since Saturday.
In recent days, Michoacan, the home state of President Felipe Calderon, has become a flashpoint of violence in Mexico's deadly war against drug cartels. Since Calderon went after the drug cartels shortly after coming into office in 2006, more than 10,000 people have died across Mexico, about 1,000 of them police.