- Mexican federal police
The alleged mastermind of one of the worst massacres of migrants in Mexico’s long drug war was detained on Tuesday in an operation led by federal police.
The 56-year-old suspect, also believed to be involved in more recent violent crimes, was detained at a hospital in Ciudad Victoria, the Tamaulipas state capital, according to a statement.
Mexican authorities said the suspect, named as Martiniano de Jesus “N” or Martiniano Jaramillo, allegedly coordinated the massacre of 72 migrants in the town of San Fernando in northern Tamaulipas in August 2010.
In one of the worst atrocities in Mexico’s prolonged drug war, the 72 bodies were found in an empty building at a remote ranch some 90 miles from the Texas border. The victims were mostly Central and South American migrant workers and appeared to have been blindfolded and bound before they were lined up against a wall and gunned down.
Investigators said they were killed after refusing to work for the Zetas cartel, which was known for abducting migrants passing through its territory in northeast Mexico. In 2011, 193 bodies were found buried in San Fernando, mostly migrants kidnapped off buses and killed by the Zetas.
Mexican authorities also tied him to the May 10 killing of Miriam Rodriguez, an activist who spent years looking for her missing daughter and eventually found the body. He has been accused of organized-crime activity and kidnapping, including the abduction of a US citizen.
(Reporting for Reuters by Lizbeth Diaz; writing by David Alire Garcia; editing by Sandra Maler)