CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – The government of this violent Mexican border city has dismissed some 400 police officers since last October on suspicion they had ties to organized crime, Mayor Hector Murguia Lardizabal said.
He told a press conference the dismissals were carried out as part of a housecleaning coordinated by new public safety chief Julian Leyzaola, who said the Ciudad Juarez municipal force had been infiltrated by criminal elements.
Juarez, located just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, has 3,000 police officers.
Eighty cops were slain in the city last year and municipal authorities recently decided to issue guns to Juarez traffic cops after a series of “aberrant and cowardly” attacks on the officers.
Ciudad Juarez is Mexico’s murder capital, with more than 8,500 homicides since early 2008. Authorities blame the carnage on a brutal turf war between the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels. EFE