By Chris Covert
A Mexican Army retired top military commander was released from prison Wednesday following a court order that said he was in fact innocent of the charges, according to Mexican news reports.
General de Division Tomas Angeles Dauahare was detained a year ago in the midst of the 2012 presidential campaign in which he was part of a slate of at large candidates for Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) for Mexico's national Chamber of Deputies. At the time, news of the detention caused then presidential candidate Enrique Pena Nieto to suspend his campaign briefly.
The revelation was possibly one of myriad reasons why PRI failed to win a clear majority in the Chamber of Deputies in 2012.
According to a news account which appeared on the website of El Diario de Coahuila news daily General Angeles Dauahare was accused, along with five other military officers, of taking money from Beltran Leyva cartel top boss Édgar Valdez Villarreal AKA La Barbie to provide security for Valdez Villarreal.
The judge who issed the release order, Juzgado 3 de Distrito, Raul Valerio, according to press account also issued a rebuke to the Calderon era Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR) saying that the PGR manufactued evidence against the general and four others. At the time the five military officers -- including General de Division Ricardo Escorcia Vargas, retired General de Brigadier Roberto Dawe Gonzalez, retired Lieutenant Colonel Silvio Isidro de Jesus Hernandez Soto and Major Ivan Reyna Muñoz -- were ordered to 80 days preventative detention, an unusually harsh order. Even high profile narcotraffickers usually only receive 40 days crimes.
Preventative detention is a prosecutorial tool used to keep suspects in high profile drug cases in detention as the prosecutor solidifies the case against the accused. Preventative detention colloquially known as arraigo or "rooting" is considered by civil rights advocates to be a violation of the Mexican constitution. Preventative detention can only be imposed by order of a federal judge.
Last January newly appointed PGR Jesus Murillo Karam admitted that the PGR had no evidence to proceed against General Angeles Dauahare, who had continually maintained his innocence while in prison.
General Angeles Dauahare had another connection to another corruption case against General Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro who had been charged then later exonorated of corruption charges. General Angeles Dauahare was involved in investigating General Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro.
General Acosta Chaparro was later shot to death a year ago to the month in Mexico City.
General Dauahare Angeles was an aide to former Secretaria de Defensa Nacional (SEDENA) Enrique Cervantes Aguirre during the term of president Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, and at one time had been considered for the top army job before General Guillermo Galvan Galvan was appointed SEDENA by president Felipe Calderon.
It was Calderon's PGR which levelled the charges against the general.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com and BorderlandBeat.com