The leader of a criminal gang suspected of conspiring with Mexican police to kill 43 missing students in the violent southwestern state of Guerrero has been detained, authorities said on Friday.
The students went missing near Iguala, Guerrero on Sept. 26 after clashing with police and masked men, sending shockwaves across Mexico and prompting thousands to march in the beach resort of Acapulco on Friday to demand answers about their fate.
Authorities have arrested dozens of police, who are believed to have links to a gang called Guerreros Unidos, or “United Warriors,” which split from the infamous Beltran Levya Cartel.
On Friday, officials said they had captured the group’s leader, Sidronio Casarrubias Salgado, along with a collaborator, weapons and vehicles. They said he was currently giving a statement to authorities.
Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told a televised press conference the arrest marked “the beginning of a new route of investigation that can lead us more quickly and easily to the truth.”
The case has undermined President Enrique Pena Nieto’s pledge to restore order to Mexico. Drug violence exploded during the rule of his predecessor, Felipe Calderon, and has claimed about 100,000 lives since 2007.
(Reporting by Jean Arce and Alexandra Alper; Editing by Tom Brown)
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