Kathia Cavazos Castillo.
Fourteen police in the northern Mexican town of Allende have been arrested for their suspected role in the killings of two young women, Nuevo Leon state authorities said Wednesday.
The police had “received orders” from an organized crime gang to hand over the women, who were detained Sunday in Allende for a minor offense, the state’s Security Council spokesman, Jorge Domene, said.
The victims, 24-year-old half-sisters Katia Cavazos Castillo and Kendy Cavazos Caballero, were nieces of state Social Development Secretary Juana Aurora Cavazos.
They remained 40 minutes at the Allende jail before a criminal gang ordered the police to drop them off in the main square of the town, located 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon’s capital.
“From that point, what we know so far is they were taken away by an organized crime gang” and their mutilated bodies turned up several hours later, Domene said.
“Municipal authorities were complicit (in their deaths) and that’s why 14 police have been arrested,” he added.
The bodies of the two women were left in plastic coffins along with a message from the criminals.
Allende is part of the citrus-growing region of Nuevo Leon that also includes the towns of Montemorelos and General Teran, an area plagued by high levels of gangland violence.
General Teran currently has no police force because all of the municipal officers resigned after their station was attacked with grenades and firearms.
The mayor’s office in Montemorelos also was targeted recently in a grenade attack.
Nuevo Leon, which borders Texas, has seen about 1,000 homicides this year, most of them connected to a brutal turf war between the Gulf and Los Zetas drug mobs.
Monterrey is home to many of Mexico’s industrial giants and long seemed to be immune to the drug war that has claimed more than 40,000 lives nationwide since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle with the cartels.
But that metropolis and its suburbs have been battered by a wave of drug-related violence since March 2010.