16 Mexico Police Officers Arrested Under Accusations Of Helping Zetas With Mass Grave

April 15, 2011 7:00 am 0 comments

Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — In the northeastern Mexican town of San Fernando, authorities arrested 16 municipal police officers Thursday for allegedly providing cover to drug cartel members behind the mass graves uncovered in the region over the past few days, the country’s attorney general said.

The arrested policemen are said to have protected four members of the Los Zetas drug cartel, one of the most violent groups of its kind in all of Mexico.

At least 126 bodies have been unearthed from the mass graves found in the state of Tamaulipas 93 miles away from the U.S. border with Mexico.

According to the Governor of that state, Morelos Jaime Canseco, there is no evidence the arrested officers were directly involved in the massacres that produced the recently found bodies.

“The government promises … to get to the bottom of these regrettable and deplorable events and put an end to police corruption,” said Mexican attorney general Marisela Morales, according to Reuters.

The Mexican government has offered a reward of $3.8 million for information leading to the capture of the killings’ four chief suspects, according to AFP.

The level of violence in the northeastern town has prompted Mexican news anchor Joaquín López-Dóriga to call it a “reference point for a region without any law, other than that of organized crime and impunity,” in a column (in Spanish) Thursday. He added that “the incomprehensible magnitude” of recent massacres in Tamaulipas “can only happen in the atmosphere of a failed state.”

Last year, Mexican authorities found the bodies of 73 Central and South American migrants on a ranch neighboring San Fernando. The Los Zetas drug cartel is also deemed responsible for that massacre.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

  • While the Honduran government and former U.S. President Bill Clinton claim that the Central American nation is protecting human rights and combating drug-trafficking, Honduras is actually killing opposition members and using U.S. money to fund corrupt police officials, according to a leader in the Honduran resistance movement. Read the story here.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

Caribbean

  • Interior Secretary Ken Salazar expressed concern Thursday about Cuba’s proposal to allow deep-water oil and gas drilling off the Florida coast.
  • Cuba’s worst drought in 50 years is forcing the government to deliver water to about 100,000 people in Havana with trucks, officials said.

Central America

  • EDF Trading, subsidiary of French utility EDF, said on Thursday it has ended its involvement in a biogas project in Honduras which an environmental group claims is linked to human rights abuses.
  • A young Salvadoran man was able to communicate with his parents again on Wednesday after being separated from them more than 20 years ago.

Andes

  • Police seized 66 pounds of cocaine aboard a bus transporting members of Venezuela’s government-organized militias, authorities said Thursday.
  • Female Colombian snipers suspected of belonging to the Marxist guerilla group FARC are fighting as mercenaries defending Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, according to rebel forces.
  • Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño Wednesday denied the veracity of a secret cable released by Wikileaks that tied him to Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
  • U.S.-listed shares of Peruvian companies declined as worries escalated about policy changes that could occur after the country’s second-round presidential election.

Southern Cone

Image: Gobierno Federal @ Flickr.

Subscribe to Today in Latin America by Email

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Guatemala Photo Essays Oxlajuj Baktun: Maya Era Ends, As Longstanding Tensions Remain

    Oxlajuj Baktun: Maya Era Ends, As Longstanding Tensions Remain

    HUEHUETENANGO, Guatemala – Events here during the much-awaited end of the Oxlajuj Baktun, a 5,129-year period in the long Mayan calendar, provide a clear reflection of the divisions and challenges faced by Mayan communities today. The media exploited inaccurate apocalyptic rumors the Maya never predicted, the government and business sectors viewed it as an opportunity to gain economically through tourism, and progressive groups like the Consejo del Pueblo Maya del Occidente seized the opportunity “to strengthen ancestral wisdom and never-ending search [...]

    Read more →
  • Dispatches Mexico Mexico Protests: Rumors Of Deaths During Anti-Peña Nieto Demonstrations Stir Social Media

    Mexico Protests: Rumors Of Deaths During Anti-Peña Nieto Demonstrations Stir Social Media

    NEW YORK — Social media buzzed this weekend with unconfirmed rumors that several protesters had died in confrontations with police during the inauguration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Thousands took the streets to protest the return of the Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party to power, which was ousted from the presidency in 2000 after governing continuously seven decades. Some 105 protesters were left injured, with 29 requiring medical attention. Protesters hurled Molotov cocktails, threw stones, and there were reports of a [...]

    Read more →
  • Brazil Today in Latin America Brazil Supreme Court Appoints First Black President

    Brazil Supreme Court Appoints First Black President

    Top Story — The Brazilian Supreme Court appointed the first black presiding judge, Joaquim Barbosa, on Wednesday. Judge Joaquim Barbosa, 58, was appointed by ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2003 and became the first black judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court. More recently, he has been known for overseeing the “Mensalão,” or “big monthly allowance” case, which convicted senior members of ex-President Lula’s administration for corruption. Barbosa will take his post once the “Mensalão” trial ends. [...]

    Read more →
  • Dispatches Mexico Photo Essays United States Caravan For Peace ‘Plants Seeds’ In New York City

    Caravan For Peace ‘Plants Seeds’ In New York City

    NEW YORK – On the night of Sept. 6, a procession of a few hundred people crossed Harlem from east to west before gathering in front of Santa Celicia Parish in the heart of El Barrio, illuminating the steps of the church with hundreds of tiny candles and filling the sidewalk with images of friends and family members lost to the drug war. There, they began to read from a list of dead and disappeared. “Regina Martines,” someone called. “¡Presente!” the crowd responded. [...]

    Read more →
  • Mexico Today in Latin America Zetas Leader Body Stolen From Funeral Home, Mexico says.

    Zetas Leader Body Stolen From Funeral Home, Mexico says.

    Top Story — The body of Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano, alias “The Executioner,” was stolen out of the funeral home where it was being kept by armed men, Mexican authorities said on Tuesday. Lazcano was allegedly killed on Sunday afternoon and his identity was confirmed on Tuesday by the Mexican Navy. However, the military seems to have been unaware that they had killed Lazcano until after his body was snatched. Lazcano, for whom there was a $5 million U.S. bounty, [...]

    Read more →
  • Mexico Today in Latin America Mexico Arrests Alleged Zetas Leader Suspected Of Migrant Massacre

    Mexico Arrests Alleged Zetas Leader Suspected Of Migrant Massacre

    Top Story — The Mexican Navy captured alleged Zetas cartel chief, Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo, suspected of some of the country’s most well known crimes. Martinez Escobedo was arrested on Saturday and is thought have led the massacre of 72 migrants in Tamaulipas among numerous other crimes, authorities said on Monday. He is also linked to the breaking of 151 prisoners out of jail and the killing of a U.S citizen in 2010, the jailbreak was the largest in recent Mexican [...]

    Read more →
  • Mexico News Briefs Guatemala Implements Police Reform Aimed At Reviewing 20,000 Officers

    Guatemala Implements Police Reform Aimed At Reviewing 20,000 Officers

    Guatemala will implement a program to root out corruption in the police and military, according to Mexican daily El Informador. The wide-reaching anti-corruption program marks an effort by the administration of President Otto Pérez Molina to crack down on the drug traffickers that have infiltrated Guatemala’s often poorly paid security forces — particularly Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel. Some 20,000 police officers will face reviews during the first phase of the program. Two-hundred of them have already begun the process, according [...]

    Read more →
  • Today in Latin America Venezuela Hugo Chavez Wins Venezuela Elections

    Hugo Chavez Wins Venezuela Elections

    Top Story —  Hugo Chávez won the presidential election on Sunday, defeating his opponent Henrique Capriles by over 1 million votes, with 54% of the vote. This will be Chávez’s third re-election after almost 14 years in office. The elections saw a high turnout and voting was extended past the closing time of polling stations.  The electoral council president said that stations where voters hadn’t been able to cast their ballots would remain open. Read more at Aljazeera. Headlines from the Western Hemisphere [...]

    Read more →
  • Honduras News Briefs 2 Honduras Officials Receive Death Threats

    2 Honduras Officials Receive Death Threats

    Two officials in Honduras viewed as sympathizers with the county’s political left have received death threats, the local press reports. The news of the death threats against National Agrarian Institute Director César Ham and Secretary of Justice and Human Rights Ana Pineda raises questions about security in one of the region’s most violent countries, after a string of attacks against journalists and political activists preceded by threats that were disregarded. Ham told Honduras’ El Heraldo that President Porfirio Lobo himself [...]

    Read more →
  • Mexico Today in Latin America U.S. Embassy Car Was Targeted In Mexico Attack

    U.S. Embassy Car Was Targeted In Mexico Attack

    Top Story – New evidence suggests that the Mexican police officers who shot at a U.S. Embassy vehicle on Aug. 24 near Cuernavaca, wounding two CIA officers, were working for organized crime, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday. Mexican officials have confirmed that they are investigating the involvement of the Beltran Leyva Cartel in the attack. Contradicting the Mexican federal police’s claims that the shooting was a mistake, a U.S. official told the Associated Press that the attack was an ambush planned [...]

    Read more →