Mexico arrests drug trafficker wanted for 1,500 murders

August 1st, 2011 - 11:52 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, Aug 1 (IANS/EFE) A high-level member of a drug cartel wanted for at least 1,500 murders in Mexico’s Chihuahua state has been arrested, authorities said Sunday.

Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez was one of the most-wanted men in Mexico and had a reward of 15 million pesos ($1.2 million) on his head, the Mexican Public Safety Secretariat said.

Acosta confessed to “the murders of approximately 1,500 people”, including “police officers from the three levels of government, officials, members of rival groups (and) members of his own organization who had lost his trust”, as well as other people who were killed “by mistake, thinking they were members of the Pacific cartel”, the secretariat said.

Officials sometimes refer to the Sinaloa cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, Mexico’s most-wanted man, as the Pacific cartel.

Acosta was arrested as a result of an exchange of intelligence between Mexican police and the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the secretariat said, without revealing the date on which the suspect was apprehended.

The suspect began his criminal career in 2008, when he ordered that banners threatening police be put out in public.

Acosta ordered several massacres, including the killings of 14 young people in Juarez’s Villas de Salvarcar neighbourhood in January 2010 and of 19 other people at a drug rehabilitation centre in June of that year.

The Juarez cartel boss is the main suspect in the June 2010 murders of state prosecutor Sandra Ivonne Salas and one of her bodyguards, the secretariat said.

Acosta confessed that he ordered a car bombing targeting police in retaliation for the arrest of one of his close associates, the Public Safety Secretariat said.

–IANS/EFE
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