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Security forces arrested 17 people accused of committing 25 murders in three towns in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, the state government announced Wednesday.
Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene reported the arrest of the 17 alleged criminals in the municipalities of Monterrey, Guadalupe and Benito Juarez. Among the crimes they are alleged to have committed are the murders of eight taxi drivers on April 10.
The capture of the presumed criminals was carried out in two different operations, the first on July 6 and the second three days later, in which a 16-year-old was also arrested.
Domene said that according to statements by the alleged murderers, the taxi drivers were killed in different neighborhoods in Guadalupe because they did not pay the protection money demanded of them to continue working.
He added that the 17 alleged killers, among whom are two women, also stand accused of other murders linked to turf battles among bands selling drugs in the area.
Those taken into custody are being held under provisional arrest for the time being.
Recently, the Monterrey metropolitan area has been the scene of violent incidents carried out by members of organized criminal groups operating in the area, including Los Zetas.
On Tuesday, eight people were murdered in the area in incidents attributed to organized crime.
Seven taxi drivers were killed in the morning by armed gunmen in the municipality of Benito Juarez, the State Investigations Agency, or AEI, announced.
In another incident, authorities reported finding the body of a woman shot multiple times in Guadalupe. The killers left a message that said "CDG" (for "cartel del Golfo" or Gulf Cartel) written on the wall of a business near where the woman's body lay.
Police said that the two incidents could be related, given that the woman was kidnapped in Benito Juarez, where the taxi drivers were killed.
Those municipalities, along with Cadereyta, are refuges and centers of operations for Los Zetas and have been the scene of numerous clashes with other criminal groups, such as the Gulf Cartel. EFE