Posted Oct 27, 2008 04:43 pm CDT
Two top employees in the unit of the Mexican attorney general’s office charged with fighting organized crime have instead been passing information to the Beltran-Leyva drug trafficking cartel about federal investigations, surveillance targets and planned raids, prosecutors contend.
At least three other lower-level federal police agents also were involved in the alleged information-passing scheme, which is the worst claimed drug infiltration of law enforcement operations in a decade, according to the Associated Press. The alleged scheme may have been ongoing for four years.
Mexico’s attorney general, Eduardo Medina Mora, said in a news conference today that 35 officials and support staff of the elite SIEDO anti-organized crime unit have been held since July in the case, reports Agence France-Presse.
The law enforcement group was paid between $150,000 and $450,000 per month by the drug traffickers, said Assistant Attorney General Marisela Morales, who heads the organized crime unit, AP reports.
“One of the officials was an assistant intelligence director and the other served as a liaison in requesting searches and assigning officers to carry them out,” the U.S. news agency writes.
An investigation is continuing to see whether informants have infiltrated other prosecution units, according to the AG.
As discussed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, Mexico is in the midst of a violent drug war, and its repercussions have been spilling over into the United States since a crackdown by President Felipe Calderon on drug trafficking and related violence that began about two years ago. However, gangland-style killings in Mexico have escalated during this time, topping 4,000 so far this year.