Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mexico Detains Ten Mayors for Alleged Drug Ties

Via MSNBC.com -

Federal forces detained 10 mayors and 17 state and municipal officials over alleged drug ties Tuesday in an unprecedented anti-corruption sweep in the Pacific coast state of Michoacan.

Soldiers and officers fanned out across President Felipe Calderon's native state to carry out the operation, including more than 200 federal agents who burst into the state attorney general's office in Morelia to detain three officials.

Most of the mayors are from towns in a mountainous region where there have been numerous beheadings and where federal officials recently seized 22 methamphetamine laboratories. They included the mayor of Uruapan, where gunmen dumped five human heads on a dance floor at a bar in 2006, the federal attorney general's office said in a statement.

State police academy director Mario Bautista and state governor's adviser Citlalli Fernandez, the former public safety secretary, were among those taken in, the federal attorney general's office said in a statement.

Two police chiefs and several commanders were also detained.

Meanwhile the federal Public Safety Department presented 11 suspected members of La Familia drug gang who were detained late Monday and early Tuesday in the states of Michoacan and Mexico, among them a former Michoacan state police officer.

Officials did not say whether those arrests were related to the Michoacan operation.

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