(CNN) -- Guatemalan authorities arrested a suspected drug trafficker who they said directed the killing of 27 workers on a farm in a northern province earlier this month, state media reported Tuesday.
Elder Estuardo Morales Madrid of Guatemala was detained on charges of kidnapping and murder, the state-run Guatemalan News Agency said.
"It appears this person was responsible for directing the group that killed the workers," President Alvaro Colom said, according to the agency.
This is the latest in a string of arrests by Guatemalan authorities, who declared a "state of siege" in Peten province after investigators discovered the brutal slayings May 15.
Last week, Colom said former members of a Guatemalan special forces unit were believed to have been involved in the killings, which authorities have blamed on Mexico's Zetas drug cartel.
The killing spree was one of the nation's worst since the end of the civil war in 1996. The killers decapitated several victims and left their body parts strewn across the terrain, police said.
Colom called the killings "sadistic and perverse."
A man who said he survived the attack told CNN affiliate Noti7 he played dead after he was stabbed in the stomach. Another survivor was a pregnant woman who said she covered her daughters and begged for mercy, Guatemala's Prensa Libre reported. The woman said the group that attacked the farm consisted of more than 50 armed men, dressed in fatigues, who had Mexican accents.