CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – A Mexican businessman who had accused 10 federal police of various crimes, including kidnapping and extortion, was found slain this weekend in this northern border city, prosecutors said.
Eligio Ibarra had been stabbed to death and his corpse was subsequently doused with gasoline and set on fire, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said Monday.
“No more details – such as the motive – are known at this time and there are still no clear leads,” Arturo Sandoval, spokesman for the state AG’s office in Ciudad Juarez, told Efe.
Ibarra, 62, was found inside his home on the north side of the city, located across the border from El Paso, Texas, with 70 percent of his body charred, local authorities said.
Last September, 10 federal police officers were arrested and accused of extortion, bodily injury, abuse of authority, false imprisonment, possession of unauthorized weapons and crimes against health.
A Mexican judge indicted the officers based on testimony from Ibarra, who accused the police of extortion and false imprisonment, and from federal Attorney General’s Office agents who carried out the arrest.
The agents seized drugs and weapons from the suspects, who were accused of taking possession of the items following an arrest.
The businessman accused the police of demanding he pay $5,000 in exchange for their not planting drugs on him, as well as of kidnapping and beating him and stealing his bank cards.
Federal police and army soldiers have been dispatched to several Mexican states in recent years amid an epidemic of drug violence that has left some 50,000 dead.
Roughly 5,000 troops and federal police are currently deployed in Ciudad Juarez, which has been plagued for years by a turf war pitting the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, both backed by local street gangs.
President Felipe Calderon gave those federal forces the lead role in combating organized crime-related violence shortly after taking office more than five years ago, saying many local cops were on drug cartels’ payroll.
International human rights groups also have blasted the military deployment.
New York-based Human Rights Watch, for example, said in a report last year that Calderon’s war on drugs has led to a “dramatic increase in killings, torture, and other appalling abuses by security forces, which only make the climate of lawlessness and fear worse in many parts of the country.” EFE