Federal Police announced the arrest of the man they say coordinated the kidnappings of 72 Central and South American migrants found slain in the municipality of San Fernando, Tamaulipas last year.
Federal police said Edgar Huerta Montiel, 22, told them he led the capture of two freight trucks packed with undocumented migrants in the state of Tamaulipas, then killed 10 of the victims. He intended to hijack the two buses so the Zetas could maintain control over these people and prevent the Gulf Cartel from recruiting them.
He also confessed to ordering the kidnapping of six busloads of passengers in San Fernando, Mexico.
Captives were taken to safe houses and tortured for information, including whether they were working for the Gulf Cartel, a rival gang, said Ramon Eduardo Pequeno, head of the anti-drug division of the federal police.
Huerta and his girlfriend were arrested Thursday in the northern state of Zacatecas.
The bodies of the 72 migrants were found in August on a ranch in San Fernando after one member of the group escaped. In the same area, authorities this spring found graves containing the remains of nearly 200 people believed kidnapped from buses headed toward the border. At least 21 suspects have been arrested in those slayings.
Authorities said he was a top aide to Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo, an alleged Zetas chief in Tamaulipas known as "La Ardilla." The Mexican government has offered a reward of about $1.3 million dollars for information leading to Martinez's capture.
Huerta also allegedly worked with another suspected crime boss, Martin Omar Estrada Luna, who was arrested in April by Mexican marines.