11 Dec 2010

Mexican drug baron killed

1:00 pm on 11 December 2010

Security forces in Mexico say they have shot dead a drug baron in the western state of Michoacan.

Nazario Moreno Gonzalez was a leader of a drug cartel known as 'La Familia'.

The BBC reports he was killed during fierce fighting between security forces and cartel gunmen near the town of Apatzingan.

'La Familia' has a reputation for extreme violence, but also claims to promote family and religious values.

At least five police officers and three other suspected cartel members were shot dead.

Three civilians were also killed, including a baby apparently caught in the crossfire during the past two days.

More than 30,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon began deploying troops to fight drug cartels four years ago.