MEXICO CITY – Two Mexican army generals suspected of possible links to drug cartels will be held for 40 days pending further investigation, a judge ordered Thursday.
Retired Gen. Tomas Angeles Dauahare – a former deputy defense secretary – and Brig. Gen. Roberto Dawe Gonzalez were detained Tuesday and taken to the Attorney General’s Office for questioning.
The current probe began in March 2010, drawing on “other enquiries in 2009, whose elements include testimony from several indicted persons, among them, several military personnel,” the AG’s office said.
Angeles Dauahare was appointed deputy defense secretary in December 2006 by newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon, who gave Mexico’s armed forces the leading role in battling drug traffickers.
Once touted as a potential future defense chief, Angeles Dauahare was abruptly replaced as deputy secretary in 2008 – with no official explanation – and retired from the army later that year.
Until his arrest this week, Dawe commanded an elite unit assigned to the 20th Military Zone, headquartered in the western state of Colima.
Angeles Dauahare is suspected of having accepted bribes in exchange for providing protection to the Beltran Leyva drug cartel.
His attorney, Alejandro Ortega, said Thursday that the retired general denies all allegations of wrongdoing.
Calderon’s strategy of militarizing the struggle with the cartels has been accompanied by an explosion of violence and the drug war death toll stands at more than 50,000 as the rightist president approaches the end of his six-year term. EFE