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Mexican Police Arrest 21 Alleged Cartel Hitmen in Tecate

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Aired 4/20/09

Baja California police have arrested 21 suspected drug cartel hit men in Tecate. Federal police link the men to numerous murders. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

The arrests came shortly after gunmen opened fire on two federal policemen at a Tecate gas station.

Federal police say they've tied at least a dozen of the men they detained to the shooting.

They say a former state agent ordered the attack in retaliation for recent arrests.

According to a federal police press release, the ex-agent and 15 other men now in custody work for El Teo.

El Teo used to belong to Tijuana's Arellano Felix cartel. But he supposedly broke away last year and launched the brutal turf war against the Arellano Felix group.

Federal police say the other six they arrested worked for the Arellano Felix Cartel.

Federal police tie all the suspects to at least 4 kidnappings and 3 murders including one beheading.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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