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Mexican police arrest suspect in 2010 killings in Acapulco

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Moises Montero Alvarez was arrested Monday in Acapulco
  • He is a suspect in the kidnapping and killing last year of 20 Mexican tourists
  • Acapulco
  • Crime
  • Mexico

(CNN) -- Federal police announced Tuesday the arrest of a suspect in the kidnapping and killing last year of 20 Mexican tourists who were vacationing in the port city of Acapulco.

Moises Montero Alvarez, 42, was arrested Monday in Acapulco, Luis Cardenas Palomino, director of regional security for the Secretary of Public Security, told reporters. Montero Alvarez, also known as "The Korean," is one of several people believed responsible for the incident, Cardenas said. He described the suspect as a leader of the Independent Cartel of Acapulco, known by the Spanish acronym CIDA.

The criminal group is a rival to Beltran Leyva for control of drug traffic in the city, according to the Secretary of Public Security.

The victims worked in a mechanic shop in Michoacan and traveled together annually to Acapulco. Last year, 22 of them, driving cars bearing license plates from Michoacan, arrived at the port, where they were confused with members of the criminal gang The Michoacan Family, according to authorities.

Two of the 22 survived because they were not with the group at the time of the kidnapping.

The disappearance of the rest provoked marches by their friends and relatives in Michoacan, who demanded justice.

Their bodies were found November 6 in a grave in Guerrero. A memorial service was held in their honor in Morelia.

Authorities said last November that one person responsible for the killings was Carlos Montemayor Gonzalez, another member of CIDA who has been taken into custody.

After his arrest, Montero Alvarez said that the recent increase in killings in Acapulco was the result of a dispute between CIDA and a recently formed group called La Barredora.

Montero Alvarez was an agent of the ministerial police of Guerrero until 1999, when he was arrested for extortion, according to the police press release.

He had also been accused of setting a fire last April in an Acapulco market known as Acatianguis and killing the business' leader, police said.

His arrest occurred in a business on the coastal highway Miguel Aleman. At the time, he was with a 21-year-old man and two minors who tried to flee when they saw the police, according to the police news release. All four were arrested. They were carrying two long guns and plastic bags containing green herb that appeared to be marijuana, the news release said.

Since the middle of last year, the port city has been the scene of a number of violent acts. According to the Mexican government, after the arrest last August of the alleged drug kingpin Edgar Valdez Villareal, also known as the Barbie, the war intensified between cartels and armed groups for control of the area. contributed to this story