MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The army said it has captured the man believed to have ordered the torching of a casino in northern Mexico, killing 52 people in one of the worst attacks on civilians in the country in decades.
Carlos Oliva Castillo, known as La Rana (The Frog), was paraded on Thursday before camera crews at the headquarters of the Defense Ministry in Mexico City wearing a blue and red checkered shirt.
Oliva Castillo was the No. 3 man within the Zetas organization and in charge of running operations for that violent drug gang in the states of Coahuila, Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, where the casino was located, authorities said.
He was caught in Saltillo on Wednesday after hours-long shootouts between soldiers and the Zetas across the city, causing panic among the population, which used microblogging site Twitter to report on the events.
Last August, about a dozen men arrived in broad daylight to the Casino Royale, sprayed it with gasoline and set it on fire in just under three minutes. A few days later, five suspected drug gang members were arrested in connection with the torching of the casino.
The arson attack deepened skepticism about President Felipe Calderon's fight on drug cartels, which has killed so far more than 44,000 people in the country.
(Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz; Editing by Vicki Allen)