HomeNewsBriefMexico Casino Arson Suspects ‘Did not Plan Massacre’
BRIEF

Mexico Casino Arson Suspects 'Did not Plan Massacre'

EXTORTION / 31 AUG 2011 BY JEANNA CULLINAN EN

Mexican authorities paraded five men accused of the Monterrey casino arson attack, who allegedly told investigators that they had not intended to kill so many people.

Nuevo Leon Governor Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz told press that the men were members of the Zetas drug gang, and that they had confessed to lighting the blaze.

The suspects reportedly told police that they had intended to give a warning to the casino's owner to make extortion payments, but that "everything had got out of control." Prosecutors confirmed that the gunmen had told security guards to evacuate the casino before they set it on fire. This fits with InSight Crime's analysis, which pointed out that criminal groups would be unlikely to carry out such a deadly attack over an extortion payment.

There have been reports that the emergency exits to the building were locked, trapping people who were trying to flee the blaze.

Authorities said that they were looking for seven more people involved in the crime.

The owner of the casino, Raul Rocha, has reportedly fled the country.

(See video of the suspects, below)

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