Mexican drug dealer aged 20 confesses to 45 murders

Police in Mexico say he could be linked to up to 79 murders

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A 20-year-old man in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey has admitted to killing 45 people, and is being investigated over the deaths of 34 others, Mexican officials have confirmed.

Juan Pablo Vazquez was detained on 8 October in Monterrey for allegedly selling drugs, Jorge Domene, Nuevo Leon state security spokesman said. He was arrested with Nancy Ortiz, who is also being held on suspicion of drug-dealing, according to CNN.

A Mexican official speaking on the condition of anonymity told the broadcaster that Vazquez was a member of the Gulf Cartel.

Vazquez, who claims he belonged to an unidentified local organized crime group, has already admitted to 45 murders and “is related to at least 79 murders, most of them committed in 2012,” Domene told a press conference on Thursday.

Among his alleged victims are a policeman, a woman accompanying a member of a rival cartel and an exotic dancer.

Mexico has suffered from a wave of drug-related violence, with figures suggesting up to 1,000 people a month are dying in gangland killings. Approximately 80,000 people have died since 2007 as a result of cartel violence.