Almost two thousand federal troops who were previously assigned in Ciudad Juarez were mobilized to the northwest of Chihuahua State to strengthen the search of the three federal police intelligence officers missing this week. All apparent signs of a kidnapping from organized crime.
The 2,000 federal police joined a thousand police officers already in the area who arrived on aircraft on Thursday from Mexico City, said the spokesman for "Operación Conjunto Chihuahua."
The Attorney General's Office (PGR), meanwhile, opened a preliminary investigation in the kidnapping of the feds who were conducting an operation in the town of San Buenaventura looking at activities from organize crime. The PGR joined the search after the federal police took control of the investigation.
From the outset the police launched an intense search by land and air in the agricultural area of San Buenaventura. Every road and highways is being combed by the Mexican military in search for the feds. This area mainly consists of agriculture and has been an narco infested area for some time. The police should not expect a lot of cooperation from the town people for fear of retaliation.
The spokesperson of the PGR, Hector Garcia, confirmed that the missing agents were carrying out intelligence work by direction from senior officials and revealed that they had radioed for assistance prior to their disappearance.
As a result, a search for them was extended to the municipalities of Galeana, Villa Ahumada, and so far it has resulted in the arrest of several people and vehicles, said Garcia.
The spokesperson did not provide the names of the detainees, but said they are being questioned in connection with the three missing federal agents, who until press time had not yet been located.
A version released by the newspaper Reforma in Mexico City indicated that yesterday a commander of the federal police was executed while searching for the agents and the newpaper confirmed for the first time that three officers were in fact missing. They appeared to have been kidnapped in Chihuahua and were said to have been investigating kidnappings and murders that has prevail in the Mormon community of Lebaron.
The newspaper quoted the federal police who identified the agent that was killed as chief inspector Silly Jose Alfredo Pena, who was allegedly attacked along with other agents on Tuesday as they left a hotel in the town of Galeana.
Both spokespersons for the PGR and "Operación Conjunto Chihuahua," said they had no information over the death of the federal agent.
The Spokesperson of the PGR said that at this point it is not yet a homicide but it is deprivation of liberty (kidnapping).
The vehicle was located under a bridge near the town Benito Juárez."We started a preliminary investigation of the location of the vehicle that the three agents were last seen driving and who are now missing. Departments from different agencies started to process the scene and a comprehensive search for the agents was launched, "said Hector Garcia.
He added that apart from some suspects already in custody, there might be other information about other suspects who might be involved. "Hopefully the ongoing investigation will result in locating the missing agents," he said.
He said that the car was found with bullet holes on the exterior and some minor damage to the rear. "We have collected some evidence from the vehicle," said Garcia.
This can't be good news for the federal authorities as we know very well how this usually ends. Usually police who are kidnapped are almost always executed by their captors. They are first tortured and then they are executed in the worst kind of way, in many cases decapitated. Let's just hope this situation is the exception.
We will stay on top of this one and will report as soon as news develops.