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Mexico to try 3rd mayor for aiding drug cartel

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Authorities said Friday that a Mexican judge has ordered another mayor held for trial on charges of aiding a drug cartel, the fourth official to face such charges in recent months.

The national Judiciary Council said former mayor Jesus Cruz Valencia, of the mountain town of Aguililla, will be tried on organized crime charges for his alleged links to the Knights Templar cartel.

Two other mayors and the former acting governor of Michoacan have been arrested on similar charges in recent weeks.

The Judiciary Council said Cruz Valencia will be held at a federal prison in the state of Nayarit.

The Knights Templar cartel dominated broad swaths of the state's economy and forged strong ties to local officials.

Vigilante "self-defense" forces rose up to fight the cartel's extortion demands in 2013.

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