Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Monterrey casino attack: Mexican police officer held

Saturday, September 3, 2011 |

BBC News --
A Mexican state police officer has been arrested in connection with the arson attack on a casino in the northern city of Monterrey that killed 52 people.

The Mexican Attorney General's office said the officer had been caught on CCTV pulling up in a vehicle outside the casino as the attack was launched. Jose Salinas of the Attorney General's office told reporters that they arrested Nuevo Leon state police officer and was now in the custody of federal investigators.

The governor of Nuevo Leon state Rodrigo Medina said earlier this week that five people suspected of belonging to the Zetas cartel had confessed to being involved in the arson. He said at the time that two other people were being sought in connection with the blaze. Police are investigating whether the casino was attacked because protection money had not been paid.

Several gunmen burst into Monterrey's Casino Royale in broad daylight, dousing it with fuel and setting it alight. Panic ensued with people inside struggling to reach the emergency exits or taking refuge in back offices or toilets. Many were overcome by smoke which spread rapidly through the building.

Security in Monterrey has been boosted by the arrival of hundreds more police and troops since the attack just over a week ago. The attack was one of the deadliest episodes of violence since President Felipe Calderon launched his crackdown on drug gangs in late 2006.

Monterrey and the state of Nuevo Leon have seen rising violence as the Zetas and Gulf cartels vie for control of trafficking routes to the US.

The drug gangs are also known to have infiltrated the local police. Nuevo Leon is in the process of recruiting new officers and retraining existing ones after firing much of its police force upon discovering the extent of the problem.

BBC News -- In Pictures

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2 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Death penalty, air superiority, drones, national police, border enforcement, targeting of auto-thefts, nuevaera.com, official accountability for areas of responsibility, political pressure on countries importing banned goods to Mexico (China, U.S., Colombia etc) greater search powers of halcones and phones and more investigation of money laundering by banks and businesses.

Anonymous said...

We are all SHOCKED, a police officer carrying out a criminal attack in Mexico,OK take pictures,write a story maby file charges,then in 4-5 mos turn him loose, life in Mexico.

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