Cartel suspect blamed for jailbreaks, massacre

Associated Press Modified: October 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm •  Published: October 8, 2012
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MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican navy nabbed a suspected Zetas cartel leader accused of involvement in some of the country's most notorious crimes in recent years, authorities said Monday.

Navy spokesman Jose Luis Vergara announced that Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo was arrested Saturday and is believed to have masterminded the massacre of 72 migrants in the northern state of Tamaulipas in 2010.

The man known as "Squirrel" also has been linked to the escape of 151 prisoners in 2010 from a jail in the city of Nuevo Laredo, the recent flight of 131 prisoners in the city of Piedras Negras and the killing of U.S. citizen David Hartley in 2010 on Falcon Lake, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border.

The death of Hartley drew wide attention as it appeared Hartley and his wife, Tiffany, were on a personal trip when he was shot by Mexican criminals on Sept. 30, 2010. The Hartleys were using personal watercraft on Falcon Lake when David Hartley was shot in the head and fell into the water.

Asked if she had confidence that Mexican authorities had arrested the man responsible for her husband's killing, Tiffany Hartley said, "It's really hard to really feel like this is going to be the final, but at the same time we're very hopeful that it will because we want some closure as a family."

She said she was hoping for more details on how Martinez might be linked to her husband's death and also for information on where her husband's remains are so the family can move forward.

"But that's what we're really looking for is: What is his link to David and does he know where David's body is?" sad Hartley, who lives in La Salle, Colorado.

The navy is also blaming Martinez for the killing of the Tamaulipas state police commander and chief investigator on the case, an attack that hampered the investigation.

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