Army troops apprehended a drug kingpin in connection with last year's murder of the son of anti-violence activist Javier Sicilia, the Mexican defense department said Friday.

Raúl Díaz Román was captured Thursday in Tecamac, a town in the central state of Mexico, the department said in a statement.

The suspect was the reputed boss of the Beltran Leyva cartel's operations in Morelos state, where Sicilia's son was slain, and it was people under Diaz's command who carried out the murder, the department said.

Diaz worked for the cartel while still an active-duty member of the Morelos police, overseeing drug trafficking in the cities of Cuernavaca, Xochitepec and Jiutepec, according to the statement.

It was March 2011 when Juan Francisco Sicilia and six other men were found dead inside a vehicle in Temixco, Morelos.

His son's death prompted Javier Sicilia, a prominent poet and commentator, to abandon literature and create the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity to press for an end to the Mexican government's militarized approach to crime-fighting.

A multi-front conflict pitting rival drug cartels against each other and the security forces has claimed more than 50,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderón gave the armed forces the leading role in the struggle with organized crime. 

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