CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – Police have arrested five men accused of dozens of murders, including two mass killings at drug treatment centers in this northern Mexico border city.
Police say the men were members of the Sinaloa cartel, a violent gang entrenched in a brutal turf war for control of drug routes to the United States.
The men are accused of 45 different executions in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's most violent city. They were arrested by law enforcement agents during a routine street patrol, according to a statement released Friday by federal police.
Police said the arrests solve two high-profile attacks that shocked even this violence-plagued city. On Sept. 2, gunmen lined patients against a wall at a rehabilitation center in Ciudad Juarez and then riddled them with bullets, killing 18. Two weeks later, gunmen burst into another drug treatment center and killed 10 people.
The executions prompted the authorities to close at least 10 unregistered drug rehabilitation centers in Ciudad Juarez out of concern that the facilities were serving as cover or recruiting grounds for drug trafficking gangs.
Police said with Friday's arrests, officials have accounted for 292 of the 1,720 murders in Ciudad Juarez so far this year.