updated 8/17/2006 8:34:50 PM ET 2006-08-18T00:34:50

A Mexican man suspected of taking part in the rape and killing of several young women in the border city of Ciudad Juarez has been arrested in Denver, Colorado, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza announced Thursday.

Garza called the Tuesday arrest of Edgar Alvarez Cruz for immigration violations "a major break" in the investigations into the sexually motivated murders of over 100 young women in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, between 1993 and 2003.

In a statement, the embassy said Alvarez Cruz is suspected of taking part in the rape and killing of at least 10 women during that time span.

Most of the victims were dumped in the desert outside of Ciudad Juarez, provoking outrage that reached around the world. They seemed to fit a pattern: Many of the victims were young women last seen in the city's downtown or after taking buses. Their bodies often didn't appear until months later.

Police did arrest several people, including an Egyptian chemist who died in prison last month; a bus driver whose conviction was overturned; and his co-defendant, who died in prison before sentencing. A group of gang members are serving out sentences related to some of the crimes.

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