Saturday, June 27, 2009

Police Chief & 91 Officers Detained in Pachuca, Mexico

Via Yahoo! News (AFP) -

A police chief and 91 officers were detained in a sweep on a city in central Mexico suspected of sheltering one of the country's most violent drug gangs, federal police said.

The police chief of Pachuca, capital of Hidalgo state, and the police officers were suspected of offering protection to the Zetas, the armed wing of the powerful Gulf drug cartel, federal police intelligence coordinator Luis Cardenas told reporters.

The Zetas carried out kidnappings and extortion in liaison with local police around Pachuca, some 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Mexico City, Cardenas said.

The original Zetas were elite Mexican Special Forces soldiers trained to find and detain drug lords. A group of deserters formed the group when they instead went to work for the drug lords in the late 1990s.

In recent weeks, a dozen army soldiers and police officers have been arrested in at least four Mexican districts for allegedly harboring organized crime, especially drug trafficking.

More than 10,000 people have died in suspected drug violence since President Felipe Calderon launched a nationwide military crackdown on the nation's powerful cartels two and a half years ago.

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