Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

EU questions Apple's tax deals in Ireland

Read more

FOCUS

The Iraqi TV show where victims confront terrorists

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Syrian student risks her life to film IS group stronghold

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Forgotten and fictional sports

Read more

DEBATE

Modi in America: India's Prime minister on triumphant US tour

Read more

DEBATE

Hong Kong protests: Pro-democracy movement gets global support

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

China censors Hong Kong protests on social media

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Diane von Fürstenberg, Fashion designer

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Islamic State group crackdown

Read more

Americas

Police arrested on suspicion of protecting cartel hitmen

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-04-14

Mexican security forces have arrested 16 police officers who are suspected of protecting the hitmen working for the Zetas drug cartel who allegedly massacred at least 116 people in San Fernando near the US border.

REUTERS - Mexican security forces arrested 16 municipal police officers accused of protecting drug gang hitmen who massacred dozens of people near the U.S. border, the country’s Attorney General said on Wednesday.

Soldiers have uncovered at least 116 corpses since last week in mass graves in the town of San Fernando near Texas, in one of the most gruesome finds so far in Mexico’s drug war.

Attorney General Marisela Morales said the brutal Zetas drug cartel was behind the atrocity and offered rewards of up to 15 million pesos ($1.2 million) for help tracking down several of the gang’s local leaders.

“The government promises ... to get to the bottom of these regrettable and deplorable events and put an end to police corruption,” Morales told reporters, reading from a statement.

Morales said 17 suspected gang members who participated in the killings have been arrested so far. She declined to give more details about any possible motives for the massacre or the identities of the victims.

The graves were near a ranch where 72 Central and South American migrants were killed last year by the Zetas preying on undocumented migrants heading north in search of work in the United States.

More than 37,000 people have been killed since President Felipe Calderon sent in the army to fight the drug gangs in 2006, worrying Washington and some investors and tarnishing Mexico’s international image as a top tourist destination.

The victims in the state of Tamaulipas, one of the drug war’s worst flashpoints, may have been killed after refusing to work for the Zetas, according to media reports. The gang is increasingly making a name for itself as the most violent of Mexico’s powerful cartels.

Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry said this week one of its citizens was among the dead in Tamaulipas. It is unclear how many were illegal immigrants, who are being targeted for kidnap by drug gangs seeking to hold them to ransom.

The incessant drug violence threatens to damage the chances of Calderon’s conservative party retaining the presidency in elections next year. It has also raised tensions with the United States, Mexico’s co-sponsor in the campaign against the cartels and its top trade partner.

The two countries have accused each other of hindering progress, straining diplomatic relations to the point where the U.S. ambassador to Mexico resigned last month.
 

Date created : 2011-04-14

  • MEXICO

    More bodies uncovered from mass grave in Mexico

    Read more

  • USA

    US drones join fight against Mexican cartels

    Read more

  • MEXICO

    Mexicans unearth mass grave near narcotics shipping route

    Read more

COMMENT(S)