The former mayor of the Mexican town of Allende, Sergio Lozano, was arrested Thursday in connection to one of the country’s most brutal cartel massacres.
Lozano was allegedly connected to the kidnapping and murder of 300 people by members of the Zetas cartel. Their bodies were then cooked in ovens to get rid of the remains.
The exact nature of Lozano’s role in the deaths has not been detailed by authorities, but he is charged with what El Universal newspaper refers to as "premeditated and aggravated kidnapping."
Lozano served as mayor in March 2011, when the murders and kidnappings took place.
Five and half years ago, the Zetas kidnapped, tortured and executed the people – all of them members of three families – apparently in revenge. One of the captives is believed to have withheld a $10M payment to the Zetas for a drug shipment.
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Two other men were recently found guilty of crimes involving the same massacre: Germán Zaragoza Sánchez, aka “El Canelo,” was sentenced to 80 years in prison, and Fernando Hernández Reyes, aka “El Panone,” received a 75-year sentence.
The killings allegedly were ordered by former Zeta head, Miguel Angel "Z-40" Treviño, and his brother Omar, both of whom since have been captured and jailed.
Allende is just 33 miles from the U.S. border.
In a government report published in October, it's estimated that between 160 and 200 heavily armed gang members - supported by municipal police - abducted Allende residents.
A statement from the attorney general’s office of Coahuila stated that prosecutor's office “continues its investigation of the events of March 2011 in an attempt to clarify the facts and punish those responsible.”