MEXICO CITY – The chief of one of this capital’s police forces was arrested on charges he hired hitmen to kill a municipal prosecutor, Mexican media reported on Tuesday.
Alvaro Acosta Teran stands accused of masterminding the murder of Victor Hugo Moneda Rangel, a 30-year veteran of the Mexico City district attorney’s office who was gunned down in December while driving home from work.
Also arrested was Darkin Emanuel Grimaldo Lopez, said to have been one of the shooters, while three other suspects remains at large.
Using a computer-generated sketch based on witnesses’ descriptions of men seen prowling around Moneda’s home before the killing, police tracked down Grimaldo last weekend in the capital’s Morelos neighborhood, Milenio newspaper said.
Information obtained from Grimaldo led investigators to Acosta, the DA’s office told Efe.
While carrying out his duties overseeing police investigations, Moneda uncovered evidence that Acosta was providing protection to several prominent criminal bosses, Milenio reported.
The newspaper said Acosta paid 10,000 pesos ($711) each to Grimaldo and the other three suspects to kill the prosecutor.
Widespread corruption among police is often blamed for Mexico’s inability to contain – let alone dismantle – the country’s powerful, violent drug cartels.
Armed groups linked to the cartels murdered around 2,700 people in 2007 and 1,500 in 2006, with the 2008 death toll soaring to 5,630.
More than 1,200 people have died so far this year.
Since taking office in December 2006, President Felipe Calderon has deployed more than 45,000 soldiers and 20,000 federal police officers across Mexico in a bid to stem the violence. EFE