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Police unearth 9 bodies in Mexico border town of Ciudad Juarez

March 15, 2009|Associated Press

CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO — Police acting on a tip found nine bodies partially buried in the desert on the outskirts of the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, and authorities announced the arrest of a suspected leader of a drug cartel hit squad.

Investigators searched the desert site south of the city Saturday to see whether there were any more bodies.

State security official Enrique Torres Valadez said the bodies of seven males and two females had been found so far.

Farther east, in the border city of Reynosa, federal police announced Saturday that they had arrested a man who allegedly led operations there for the feared Zetas, a group of hit men for the Gulf drug cartel.

Sergio Pena Mendoza, 39, is also suspected of participating in an unsuccessful plot to free an imprisoned Zetas leader from jail in neighboring Guatemala, authorities said at a news conference in Mexico City.

Pena Mendoza was arrested after he tried to flee a police patrol in a stolen pickup truck. Police said Pena Mendoza is suspected of killing a police official and a businessman.

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