The Juarez cartel’s Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, also known as ‘El Diego’, was one of the most-wanted men in Mexico and had a reward of 15 million pesos (£782,000) on his head.
Acosta confessed to “the murders of approximately 1,500 people,” including “police officers from the three levels of government, officials, members of rival groups (and) members of his own organization who had lost his trust,” as well as other people who were killed “by mistake, thinking they were members of the Pacific cartel,” the Mexican Public Safety Secretariat said.
He is reputed to be one of the bosses of the La Linea gang, a group formed by renegade security officers in the northern state of Chihuahua, to act as enforcers for the Ciudad Juarez-based cartel.
The secretariat said Acosta was behind a car bomb detonated by cell phone that killed four people in the city in July last year, the first attack of its kind in Mexico’s deadly drug war.
Acosta confessed that he ordered a car bombing targeting police in retaliation for the arrest of one of his close associates.