TIJUANA, Mexico -- Relatives of 62 current and former police officers arrested in Tijuana for allegedly aiding drug traffickers protested outside the state attorney general's office on Friday to demand they be released.
The family members claimed the officers are innocent and said they fear they might be tortured.
The 16 detectives, 40 municipal police and six former city officers were detained Thursday by soldiers in the border city of Tijuana and taken to Mexico City. They will face charges in a court in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.
Tijuana has seen bloody drug turf battles between the Sinaloa cartel and the Arellano Felix gang.
Also Friday, prosecutors in the neighboring state of Sonora reported that a shootout between rival drug gangs had left three people dead.
Two suspects were detained at the scene of the confrontation late Thursday near the U.S. border, west of the city of Nogales.
Guns, hundreds of bullet casing and a burnt-out van with remains of marijuana inside were found at the scene.
Sonora state prosecutors said the confrontation occurred near the same area where a July 1 gun battle between rival drug and migrant trafficking gangs near Mexico's border with Arizona killed 21 people.
The area is a prime corridor for migrant and drug smuggling.
Also Friday, in the western state of Michoacan, the police chief of the town of Benito Juarez was shot to death.
Cesar Negron's body was found by farmers near his bullet-ridden vehicle in what state prosecutors said appeared to have been an ambush.
Two other Michoacan local police chiefs have been killed this year.
Friday, Jul. 30, 2010
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