By Alfa · Apr 13, 2004 ·
  1. Alfa

    Entire State Force Is Suspended As Officers Face Questions About Helping
    Drug Dealers.

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -- A Mexican governor suspended an entire state
    police force Monday after two senior officers were accused of cutting deals
    with drug traffickers.

    All 553 members of the Morelos state ministerial police force were
    suspended pending investigation, their weapons taken away and their offices
    placed under guard, officials said.

    Morelos Gov. Sergio Estrada said the move was part of an overhaul of law
    enforcement in the state, which lies south of Mexico City, to create a
    police force "that responds in a manner more in line with the needs of

    Last week, a Mexican judge jailed without bail two senior Morelos police
    officers accused of protecting drug traffickers and helping them distribute
    planeloads of cocaine.

    The two were jailed pending trial on charges of providing protection to
    Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, head of the Juarez drug cartel, and aide Juan
    Jose Esparragoza, alias "El Azul."

    Arrest warrants were issued for five other Morelos state employees, who
    were on the run.

    Authorities said the Juarez cartel was allowed to land small planes
    carrying Colombian cocaine at the airport in Cuernavaca, the Morelos state

    The drugs were removed from the planes under police supervision and
    transported in state police vehicles for sale, officials said.

    Mexico's policing structure is complicated with a variety of federal, state
    and local forces. Government officials concede corruption is a serious
    problem in many police units.

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