Mexico City • Vigilantes are searching an extensive cave system in the hunt for the last fugitive boss of the Knights Templar drug cartel, a "self-defense" group leader in western Mexico said Thursday.
Vigilante leader Estanislao Beltran said there are signs the cartel had used the caves near the town of Arteaga in Michoacan state.
"I think they used it as a hideout," said Beltran, who had descended about 100 meters (yards) into the caves. "We found evidence."
Three days ago, vigilantes accompanied by federal forces took control of Arteaga, which is the hometown of Servando "La Tuta" Gomez, the only one of the cartel's top four leaders who has not been captured or killed. Gomez once served as a school teacher in the area and had some support among townspeople because his gang handed out money to residents.