MEXICO CITY – The Mexican Attorney General’s Office arrested 34 state and municipal police in Tabasco including six commanders and several chiefs for their suspected links with organized crime, and simultaneously nabbed nine suspected drug traffickers, police officials said on Saturday.
“Investigations carried out by SIEDO, the deputy prosecutor’s office specialized in investigating organized crime... found evidence of the collaboration of municipal police with the Gulf cartel crime organization,” the AG’s office, known as the PGR, said in a communique.
The operation, one of the biggest against state police of any launched recently, was concluded between July 29-31 by the federal police, the army and the state government of Gov. Andres Granier of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
In its note, the PGR said that on July 29 it launched an operation that continued until July 31 and ended with the arrests of 34 police officers for suspected crimes of drug trafficking and collaboration with drug traffickers.
Notable among those arrested were commanders Mario Martinez Lopez, Lucio de la O Ricardez, Angel Gonzalez Izquierdo and Orbelin de la Cruz Lopez, all from the 2nd Guard of Public Safety, as well as Julio Cesar Gonzalez Mendez, commander of the 1st Guard in the municipality of Centro.
Also nabbed were the commander of the State Highway Patrol, Daniel Martinez Cruz, Comalcalco delegate Jose Luis Cruz Vidal, Highway Patrol chief Alberto Gonzalez Gomez and police officer Pedro Rivera Mazariego.
The operation was rolled out in the state capital of Villahermosa and in the municipalities of Paraiso, Frontera, Centro and Jalpa de Mendez.
Arrested along with the police agents were suspected drug traffickers identified as Juan Ramon Lara Castelan, Moises Martinez Enriquez, Luis Roberto Mendoza Garcia and Felipe Flores Gomez.
The other five were identified as Juan Vazquez Mayo, Jorge Amaya Zapata, Jorge Alberto Carrillo Arana, Carlos Mario Castillo Rodriguez and Carlos Alberto Mendieta Zentella.
The authorities believe that all those implicated in these cases engaged in drug trafficking.
“With coordinated operations like this we let society know that there’s no place for organized crime nor will it find paradises of impunity anywhere in the country,” the PGR note said.