The Mexican army on Monday announced the arrest of three members of Los Linces (the lynxes), a hit squad belonging to the Juárez drug cartel or "La Linea."
Military police arrested the suspected hit men Friday after gunshots were exchanged by occupants of two vehicles on Avenida de los Aztecas.
Police identified the suspects as Andres Vasquez Espinoza, 36; Roberto Piña Castañon, 21; and Jesus Alberto Santiago, 41.
Military officials said Los Lynxes allegedly took orders from three men, including Alberto Acosta, who ordered them to carry out 26 murders in Juárez. Targets included people who refused to pay extortion "quotas."
Acosta is also known by the monikers Arnold, El Diego and El Blablazo. The other suspected leaders are Juan Diaz, whose aliases are El Canelo, El Rojo or El Leopardo, and a third man only identified as El Fantasma (the ghost).
Among the 26 murder victims were five people slain in the Coco Bombo bar in May, several members of a rival drug cartel and three independent drug dealers in the Mariscal area. Independent drug dealers are known as "chapulines," or grasshoppers.
The squad also allegedly collaborated with "El 7," the leader of a hit squad known as Los Babicoras. Los Babicoras is suspected in the killings of two Cipol police officers on Thursday and six people shot and killed earlier this month in the Amadeus strip club. Those victims included Staff Sgt. David Booher, an off-duty member of the U.S. Air Force.