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Police arrest alleged smuggler of Ecuadorean migrant

QUITO, Ecuador — Authorities have detained an alleged smuggler of an Ecuadorean man who told police he survived a massacre of 72 fellow migrants in Mexico, the justice minister confirmed Sunday.

Also Sunday, authorities said another immigrant had survived the slaughter.

Police arrested Miguel Angel Dutan Meneses on Saturday at his house in Biblian, 140 miles south of the capital of Quito, said Justice Minister Jose Serrano.

He appeared Saturday before a judge, who ordered him jailed while authorities continue their investigation, Serrano said.

Among the suspect's possessions, authorities found a money order for $3,000 made out to a woman in Honduras, said Romeo Garate, district attorney in the province of Canar, where Biblian is located. Garate told local news media that the discovery could indicate Meneses is part of a larger smuggling network.

Serrano said authorities believe he helped smuggle Ecuadorean Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla to Mexico.

Pomavilla, 18, told authorities he survived the massacre of 72 Central American and South American migrants at a ranch in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which has been embroiled in a vicious turf battle drug cartels.

The third man now thought to have survived the massacre of 72 migrants is in the United States, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes said Sunday.

"We know of a Salvadoran who is in the United States and who fortunately avoided getting killed," Funes said. "His testimony will be key in solving the case."

Police arrest alleged smuggler of Ecuadorean migrant 09/05/10 [Last modified: Sunday, September 5, 2010 10:58pm]
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