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Acosta Says 1,500 Killed On His Command

JUAREZ, Mexico, Aug. 1 (UPI) — Antonio Acosta Hernandez, a reputed Juarez, Mexico, drug kingpin in police custody, confessed to ordering the killings of about 1,500 people, authorities said.

Among the violence Acosta admitted involvement in was a 2010 car bombing in downtown Juarez in which three people died, the deaths of three people affiliated with the U.S. Consulate in Juarez and the slaughter of 15 partygoers, the El Paso (Texas) Times reported Monday.

Acosta, the reputed La Linea drug cartel leader and one of the most wanted men in Mexico, was arrested Friday after a shootout with authorities in Chihuahua City.

Police said Acosta confessed to ordering 1,500 killings as the head of La Línea, The New York Times reported.

The FBI announced earlier this year Acosta was indicted in the slayings of U.S. Consulate employee Lesley Enriquez Redelfs and her husband, Arthur Redelfs, an El Paso County sheriff’s detention officer. The Redelfs were killed along with Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, whose wife worked at the U.S. Consulate.

Mexican authorities, who presented Acosta in a bulletproof vest to the media Sunday as proof of his capture, said local, state and federal police officers, members of rival cartels and members of his own organization who lost his trust were among those whose deaths he ordered, the El Paso Times reported.

Intelligence reports indicate Acosta began his criminal activity in 2008, making public threats against Chihuahua state officials, Mexican authorities said.

Officials said Acosta’s capture was due to the sharing of information between Mexican federal police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

The El Paso Times said it was unknown if Acosta would be extradited to the United States for the Redelfs killings.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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