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Mexico arrests chief of gang in missing students case

18 october 2014, 12:10

 Mexican authorities have captured the suspected leader of the Guerreros Unidos gang, which was allegedly involved with corrupt police in the disappearance of 43 students, officials said Friday, AFP reports.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said the arrest of Sidronio Casarrubias would open a "new line of investigation" to find the college students who have been missing for three weeks.

Tomas Zeron, director of investigations in the prosecutor's office, said Casarrubias was the "maximum leader" of the gang based in the southern state of Guerrero and was arrested alongside "one of his closest operators."

Casarrubias was arrested at a police checkpoint on a highway between Mexico City and the central city of Toluca, Zeron said. He did not say when the arrest took place.

He is the brother of Mario "The Beautiful Toad" Casarrubias, the gang's alleged founder who was detained in May.

National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said last week that the gang has been without a clear leadership since Mario Casarrubias's arrest.

Friday's announcement came three days after authorities said that another Guerreros Unidos leader, Benjamin Mondragon, killed himself when federal police surrounded him in the central state of Morelos.

Authorities say Guerreros Unidos worked hand-in-hand with corrupt municipal officers in a night of violence in the city of Iguala on September 26 that left six people dead and the 43 aspiring teachers missing.

Iguala's officers then handed the students to their counterparts in the neighboring town of Cocula who eventually delivered the 43 young men to the Guerreros Unidos, authorities say.

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