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News Link • Mexico

Mexican troops capture a top suspect in slayings of 49

•, By Catherine E. Shoichet
 One of the main suspects in the killings of 49 people in northern Mexico received orders from the top leaders of the Zetas cartel, a military official said Monday.

Daniel de Jesus Elizondo Ramirez hurled a grenade and fired at troops with a rifle as they closed in on him, Brig. Gen. Edgar Luis Villegas told reporters. After his capture Friday outside Monterrey, Mexico, he disclosed details of the brutal slayings, Villegas said.

Elizondo, also known as "El Loco" ("The Madman"), is a local leader of the Zetas drug cartel in Cadereyta, Nuevo Leon, the northern Mexican city where authorities found the decapitated and dismembered bodies abandoned along a highway last week, Villegas said.

The grisly discovery on May 13 drew international attention but was met with a muted response from some Mexicans living in the area, where intensifying turf battles between rival cartels have made violence a daily reality.

Authorities announced Elizondo's arrest Sunday and presented him to the media Monday, detailing his alleged involvement in kidnappings and killings in northern Mexico, and in the Zetas' efforts to expand their reach into Guatemala.

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