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Zetas cartel leader arrested in killings of 49

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Zetas cartel leader arrested in killings of 49

Daniel Elizondo, a leader of the Zetas drug cartel in Mexico, was arrested on Sunday, according to Reuters.

Elizondo, also known as "The Madman," is thought to be behind the gruesome killings of 49 people whose decapitated and dismembered corpses were found dumped next to a highway last week.

A spokesman for the Mexican army said Elizondo headed operations for the drug cartel in Cadereyta, on the outskirts of Monterrey, near where the bodies were found.

Sky News reported that seven others, in addition to Elizondo, were arrested in connection to the killings.

According to Al Jazeera, the corpses' hands were cut off to prevent them from being identified. The incident was one of the largest massacres connected with the drug trade in Mexico which has claimed approximately 50,000 deaths since December 2006.

Reuters said a video that allegedly showed men dumping the bodies was posted on the internet. A message they allegedly left said, "Gulf cartel, Sinaloa cartel, marines and soldiers, nobody can do anything against us or they will lose."

A slogan on a stone arch found near the bodies said "100 percent Zetas," but banners signed by the cartel appeared a few days later saying the Zetas cartel was not responsible, according to the Associated Press.

The slogan could have been there before the bodies were dumped, said the AP.

None of the victims have been identified so far, according to Reuters.

The police said the victims could be migrants passing through Mexico, as there were no signs of mass disappearances.

Drug-related violence has raged in Mexico in recent months, with 18 people found decapitated near Guadalajara and nine bodies found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, close to Laredo, Texas.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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