Aug. 30 - Mexican authorities present five suspected drug gang members charged with the attack on a Monterrey casino that left more than 50 dead. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Mexican authorities arrest five suspected drug gang members in connection with the torching of a casino last week that killed at least 52 people, one of the worst attacks on civilians in the country in years. Last week's arson attack on the upmarket casino in the northern city of Monterrey deepened scepticism about President Felipe Calderon's fight against drug cartels, putting new pressure on his embattled government to root out crime. Rodrigo Medina is the governor of Nuevo Leon SOUNDBITE: Rodrigo Medina is the governor of Nuevo Leon (Spanish), saying: "The police investigations, expertise, eyewitnesses, fingerprints and the communication on cell phones among other procedures led the Nuevo Leon police to arrest five suspects with serious criminal priors and with the sufficient evidence, they seem to be the presumed masterminds of this attack," Medina said the suspects identified themselves as members of the Zetas drug cartel. SOUNDBITE: Rodrigo Medina is the governor of Nuevo Leon (Spanish), saying: "The public ministry will continue its investigation into the five suspects and will deepen their ties with the so-named cartel, Los Zetas, to which they have affirmed their affiliation," Hundreds of extra troops were sent to Monterrey after the attack The Casino attack coincided with a surge in violence across Mexico since Calderon sent in the army to crush the powerful cartels when he took office in December 2006. Calderon pointed a finger at the United States again, demanding the U.S. Congress curb illegal weapons sales across the Mexican border and stamp out the demand for drugs that he said was fueling the violence in his country. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters