MEXICAN POLICE ACCUSED
Entire State Force Is Suspended As Officers Face Questions About Helping
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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