A judge ordered eight suspects arrested in connection with the massacre of 72 Latin American migrants at a ranch in Mexico in August held in prison, the Attorney General’s Office said.
Juan Manuel Cano, Edgar Sesma Vega, Jose Gustavo Blanco, Victor Resendez, Jesus Garcia, Manuel Vazquez, Jesus Vargas and Eduardo Rico Perez were taken to the El Rincon prison in Tepic, a city in Nayarit state, and the Villa Aldama prison in Veracruz state.
The suspects, who were arrested in August and September, face murder, kidnapping, organized crime, arms and corruption of minors charges, the AG’s office said.
The suspects were arrested between Aug. 24, when marines found the migrants’ bodies at a ranch in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, and Sept. 7.
Several of the men are suspected of being members of the Los Zetas drug cartel.
The victims came from Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Brazil, but the majority were Hondurans.
Two migrants – one from Ecuador and another from Honduras – survived the massacre.
Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent drug cartel, is suspected of murdering the migrants.
Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla, an 18-year-old Ecuadorian who survived the massacre, notified Mexican marines of the killings, telling officials that the migrants were kidnapped by armed men before they reached the U.S. border.
Mexican marines found the bodies of the 58 men and 14 women after a shootout with gunmen at the ranch that left a marine and three criminals dead.
The evidence gathered so far indicates that the Aug. 22 massacre was carried out by Los Zetas, officials said.
Mexican investigators are working on the theory that the kidnapped migrants were killed after they refused to work for the Zetas cartel.
After several years as the armed wing of Mexico’s Gulf cartel, Los Zetas went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.