Maria Jimenez is believed to be a 'female assassin'
Mexican police have arrested a "female assassin" in the northern city of Monterrey who, they say, is connected with 20 murders carried out by the Zetas drug cartel, reports Sky News.
Maria Jimenez, 26, was paid about $1,700 (£1,000) per month to kill her victims, who included rival drug traffickers and a police officer, said prosecutor spokesman, Jorge Domene, speaking in Nuevo Leon, Monterrey's home state.
Jimenez was arrested last week and has since confessed to the murders and other crimes, Domene said. Prosecutors will charge her with murder, car theft and kidnapping, he said.
Mexican police have arrested other female assassins but few have been suspected of so many killings.
Jimenez was arrested along with three men accused of being assassins and five other men and women accused of working as drug dealers and lookouts.
The group controlled 14 drug-selling hotspots in Monterrey's metropolitan area, Domene said.
Once described as Latin America's safest city, Monterrey has been plagued by gang-related violence as the Zetas battle their rivals in the Gulf Cartel for control of drug distribution and other criminal rackets.
There have been more than 50,000 drug-related killings in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and launched a nationwide offensive against the cartels.