5 Cartel Members Busted for Casino Killings

Attack that killed 52 puts spotlight on corruption
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2011 3:11 AM CDT
A makeshift memorial of funeral wreaths lines the circular driveway of the Casino Royale in Monterrey, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Hans-Maximo Musielik)

(Newser) – Mexico has arrested five alleged members of the Zetas cartel for the attack that killed 52 people in a Monterrey casino last week. Authorities say all five have confessed to involvement in the attack, one of the deadliest against ordinary Mexicans in the country's 5-year-old war on drug cartels, the Washington Post reports. The victims, mostly middle-aged women playing bingo, died after the attackers sprayed gasoline at the casino's entrance and set it alight.

President Felipe Calderon has called the killings an act of terror—and said the US shares the blame—but many Mexicans believe corruption is also to blame, the Wall Street Journal reports. One of the five suspects was arrested last year in a stolen vehicle carrying an illegal gun and authorities have not been able to explain why he was released. Federal prosecutors are investigating why five police officers stationed just a block away from the casino did not respond to the attack or chase the suspects.

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