Suspects confess to Monterrey torching

Five gang members have confessed to their participation in the recent casino torching attacks in Monterrey, Mexico. Last Thursday, armed men burst into Casino Royale, doused the carpet with gasoline and threw three grenades into the hall before exiting to four vehicles waiting in the parking lot. When the billowing smoke cleared and the debris unblocked from the escape routes, 52 were found dead and many more injured.

Last week, Governor Medina de la Cruz presented security footage of two vehicles that participated, in which people were taped putting gasoline into the car later involved in the casino attack. Investigators found a fingerprint on one of the cars, leading them to several suspects.

The State Agency of Investigations identified the suspects as Luis Carlos Carrazco Espinosa, 25; Javier Alonso Martinez Morales (alias “el Javo,”), 37, from Monterrey; Jonathan Jahir Reyna Gutierrez, 18; Juan Angel Leal Flores, 20; and Julio Tadeo Berrones, 28 (alias “el Julio Rayas”).

The men are members of the drug cartel gang Los Zetas and have criminal records ranging from homicide to kidnapping. They reported to the state-run Notimex News Agencythey torched the casino because the owners did not meet their extortion demands.

Monterrey, approximately 140 miles from the Texas border, is considered a wealthy community home to some of Mexico’s largest companies. In response to the attack and associated gang violence, President Barack Obama said our government will stand shoulder to shoulder with Mexico.

The governor called for witnesses to identify the remaining two assailants, offering a 30 million peso (2.4 million) reward for this information. However no other information was released about the suspects in fear of “jeopardizing the investigation.” Three days of national mourning were declared by President Felipe Calderon, in addition to a televised interview pledging the continuation of the fight against organized crime.