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Retired Mexican General Charged

January 25, 1998

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ In another blow to the reputation of Mexico’s army, a retired general was arrested Saturday for allegedly trying to arrange a pact between Mexico’s two largest drug cartels.

The case against former Gen. Jorge Maldonado Vega marks the fourth time a retired or active-duty general has been charged with drug trafficking in the last year.

``The arrangement he sought would have allowed Amado Carrillo Fuentes’ operation to operate without persecution ... and arrive at an agreement with the Arellano Felix organization to avoid killings between the gangs,″ Mexico’s attorney general’s office said in a statement on the case.

Carrillo Fuentes was accused of shipping tons of cocaine into the United States through his Ciudad Juarez cartel. He died of apparent complications linked to plastic surgery in July. The Arellano Felix brothers run what is now considered Mexico’s largest drug cartel, based in Tijuana, Baja California.

Another retired officer, Capt. Rigoberto Silva Ortega, was charged along with Maldonado Vega.

In the most notable military arrest, Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, an army officer then serving as the nation’s top anti-drug prosecutor, was arrested in February on charges of having accepted bribes from drug traffickers.

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