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Americas

Gang leader confesses to involvement in US consulate murders

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-04-01

Ricardo Valles, a leader of the infamous Los Aztecas gang and a suspect in the US consulate murders in Mexico, has confessed to participating in the killings.

AFP - A gang leader suspected in the killings of a US consulate worker in Mexico, her husband and another man has confessed to participating in the murders, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Ricardo Valles, 45 -- high-up in the notorious Los Aztecas gang -- told investigators another Aztecas leader had "ordered him by telephone, a few days earlier, to locate the white van" carrying a US consulate worker and her husband, who were later killed, said the Chihuahua state prosecutors office.

Valles, according to the prosecutor's statement, said that he followed the van carrying the couple until other gang members told him to withdraw, then moments later he heard several shots.

The Aztecas gang is blamed for almost simultaneous attacks on March 13 in which the US consulate worker and her husband, both Americans, were killed, as was a Mexican man who was married to another consulate staffer.

Valles, a US resident of Mexican origin, was captured by Mexico's military Friday on suspicion of involvement in the killings.

The US government sent FBI investigators to this violent border city after the murders, and a senior US delegation led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later pledged to boost joint efforts to tackle surging violence by Mexico's powerful drug cartels.

Mexico has been gripped in drug-related bloodshed since President Felipe Calderon launched a military clampdown on the country's powerful drug gangs after taking office in December 2006.

More than 15,000 people have since died in suspected drug attacks, particularly near the US border, which increasingly claim the lives of innocent bystanders.

Date created : 2010-04-01

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