Drug Wars

Cartel Chief Admits to 1,500 Murders

Marco Ugarte / AP Photo

Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, 33, is presented to the media by federal police officers in Mexico City, Sunday July 31, 2011. According to federal officials, Acosta, nicknamed "El Diego," is a key drug cartel figure, who acknowledged ordering 1,500 killings. He is also a suspect in last year's slaying of a U.S. consulate employee near a border crossing in Ciudad Juarez. Authorities identified Acosta as head of La Linea, a gang of hit men and corrupt police officers who act as enforcers for the Juarez Cartel.

Mexican police said Sunday they arrested a cartel leader who has confessed to ordering the murder of 1,500 people. The suspect, Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, is also thought to have planned an attack on a pregnant U.S. Consulate employee and her husband in violence-plagued Ciudad Juarez last year. Mexican police said Hernandez also confessed to ordering the murders of 15 people, many of whom were teenagers, at a party in the city last year. Known as “El Diego,” Hernandez leads La Linea gang, which acts as mercenaries for the Juarez cartel.