Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexican Police Caught Kidnapping Victims

Thursday, June 14, 2012 |

Got it from Borderland Beat Forum by johnnyozone22

Source: Universal


There it was on video: Five heavily armed policemen barge into a hotel in western Mexico before dawn and march out with three handcuffed men in underwear.

But police weren't making an arrest. Prosecutors say they apparently were taking orders from criminals. Just hours after the three were seized, they were found asphyxiated and beaten to death.

Mexicans have become inured to lurid tales of police collaboration with narcotics gangs during 5 1/2 years of a drug war that has cost more than 47,500 lives. But seldom can they actually see it occur, and the video broadcast on national television was a shocker.

"One assumes that in some cities ... the municipal police work for the drug cartels," said Jorge Chabat an expert on security and drug trafficking at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching. "But what is different here is that there is a video. It's not the same thing to imagine that this going on, and to see it."

The Jan. 20 video released by prosecutors late Wednesday shows a police truck pulling up to the hotel in the city of Lagos de Moreno, quickly followed by a pickup carrying four armed men in civilian clothing. A city policeman carrying an assault rifle runs over to their truck and is given what appears to be a list. Then he and his fellow officers trot into the hotel and present the list at the reception desk, apparently asking what rooms the men are staying in.

In the next segment of the video, the victims are trotted out of the hotel in their underwear with their hands cuffed behind their backs. One is being hustled along by a man in civilian dress, who stuffs him into a patrol car. The gunmen – police are investigating whether they belong to the Jalisco New Generation drug gang – appear to be calling the shots throughout, with the police officers serving as gofers.

The police then watch and wait in front of the hotel while the men's luggage and vehicle are stolen. Finally, the police truck carrying the victims follows the gunmen as they drive away in the own pickup and the stolen vehicle.

While the kidnapping and murder occurred in January, and the faces of several officers were clearly seen on the videos, the officers were not detained until June 6, when soldiers and state police raided a local police station. And they still have not been formally charged with any crime.

"It took time to obtain the video tapes, to do the investigation, and to get the arrest warrants," said Jalisco state prosecutor's spokesman Lino Gonzalez said Thursday. "We didn't have the information."

In any case, the release of the dramatic images comes less than three weeks before national and state elections in which security is a major issue. Critics accuse President Felipe Calderon of setting off a bloodbath with his strategy against gangs, while his party's presidential candidate, Josefina Vazquez, has suggested her opponents are ready to compromise with the cartels.

Jalisco is governed by Calderon's party. The man who was mayor of Lagos de Moreno when the video was shot is now a rival party's candidate for the state legislature.

Gonzalez said that so far, seven policemen and officials of the municipal police force of Lagos de Moreno have been detained pending charges. And state Attorney General Tomas Coronado said the four men in civilian clothing also have been detained separately in other cases. He declined to say what gang they might belong to.

There are still mysteries surrounding the case, including whether the gunmen thought the victims were members of a rival drug cartel. The victims were from the northern state of Coahuila, where the hyperviolent Zetas cartel has been battling the Sinaloa cartel, allies of the local Jalisco Nueva Generacion gang.

Gonzalez said the victims, before checking into the hotel, had been briefly detained by police at the local jail for a minor infraction. They paid a fine and were released. But while in custody, "They said something indiscrete," Gonzalez said. "Apparently they said something like `We're from Coahuila, and we're part of the mafia.'"

It's not unusual in Mexico for detainees to boast about their connections, hoping to press corrupt police to release them.

This time, however, it backfired.

"Apparently, somebody at the jail heard the comment, and reported it to the real criminals," Gonzalez said.

Coronado told local media the men had claimed to be Zetas.

Gonzalez said it has never been proved the kidnapped men were gang members. They may have just been in Lagos de Moreno collecting the rent on a ranch, and they are being treated simply as victims.

Chabat noted that corruption has reached so deep that in 2010 in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, seven local police officers in the town of Santiago were arrested on allegations they were working for the Zetas drug gang and that they kidnapped and killed the town's Mayor, Edelmiro Cavazos, in retaliation for his attempts to cut corruption.

"There are police officers who kill the mayors they are supposed to protect," Chabat said. But this week's video "is cause for despair," he said. "It gives rise to the feeling that this is not going to be solved in the short term."



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16 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

CJNG, must of been Zs the 3 kidnapped and killed...why would 3 individuals go together to get the rent from that finca?? And coming from Saltillo all the way to Jalisco??? Something is fishy here.. how did the police commander know they were in that precise hotel?? Maybe this 3 gentlemen were setup by their own cartel???

G(-)057

Anonymous said...

They were there to collect the rent. The lawyer was for legal reasons the worker for repairs. The reason the police chief knew is because they asked the police for help in removing the tenants. But i guess you gpt all tje FACTS and got figured out. Damn matlock

Anonymous said...

video is self explanatory happened in january and arrested in june so let me do the calculation 181 days where the fuck was the law ohhh sorry the law broke the law and cannot arrest themselves kinda difficult ahhhh now i get it corruption corruption corruption all the way to presidente calderon wake up mexican masses take up arms fight your corrupt gov change the status of your country by all means

Anonymous said...

police will just say it was cartel dressed as them

Anonymous said...

100% of the police, military, and politicians in Mexico are corrupt! 100%!!! They are sold to one cartel or another. Pobrecito Mexico!

Anonymous said...

3victims were sold out by the cops

Anonymous said...

How can these bastard cops live with themselves, is there no such thing as pride, conscience or self respect ?
There is no damn excuse for what goes on in this country, and my heart bleeds for its honest citizens. They have no chance as long as animals like these roam free.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they install cameras inside all police cars and taxis that would make kidnapping a little mire difficult.

Anonymous said...

So you're telling me this guys weren't crooked..you must of known them good... nobody gets picked up just for the heck of it...either they owed something or the ranch was occupied by cjng and didn't want to deal with these 3

G(-)057

Anonymous said...

Whether they were good guys or bad, do you think it's OK for these arsehole cops to be doing these tasks for a cartel.
For god sake, this is a major part of the problem, first they do these guys and people say ok they were bad guys anyway. Then they figure they can rob (or anything else they fancy) you or me and it's back to "they must be crooked as well" so no big deal.
This is the exact reasons honest people won't ask them to do the jobs they are actually paid for, so they have even more time to spend on other jobs like this.
While this goes on do you ever see an end to the troubles ??
No excuse for doing this type of shit period.
Worse than dogs.

Anonymous said...

Detained for a minor infraction! What minor infraction? Good chance they went to the police to ask for help removing tenants from their ranch.
If they were Zetas I don't believe they would be advertising this to police in enemey territory.
Where are their weapons? They are in enemy territory without weapons? They went there for a holiday!!!
If the police claim they were zetas it would be listed as a community improvement, rather than murder!!

Anonymous said...

It fucking doesn't matter, "who's who," with regards to cartel association! The bottom line here is you can't trust nobody...cops, military, gov't officials, etc...The bad guys parade around in police uniforms all the time and of course some of the real police are the bad guys! Money is king in Mexico...he who has the most money..gets whatever he needs done or wants! It is the root of the entire problem..greed..lust for money...drives/fuels this problem! There is no honor, honesty, loyalty, or pride with regards to doing the right thing in Mexico. I'm not saying there are not good people in Mexico but good can not compete with the bad!

Anonymous said...

So true, that's why when we go to Mexico we bring multiple fake Rolex watches to give to the cops, they let you go the second they see them...also never stop for municple police, drive until you get to a police checkpoint and if they're still behind you ou know they're for real (but probable will stop following you anyhow cause they hate the military)

J said...

These videos are all eerie and fascinating, imagine those three guys, picked up for maybe drunk in public, or minor dispute, say some drunken, boastful remark, maybe their cousin is a Zeta, or works for them, and next thing they are on a list, and being picked up and taken to a safehouse in the middle of the night. I bet all the local police, and anybody have been told if you were anybody saying they are Zetas, or from northern states like Coahulia, or Nuevo Leon let us know right away.

Anonymous said...

with all that surplus budget, great idea.

Anonymous said...

good point.

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