Earlier this month, a series of videos surfaced on the Web showing an interview between Mexico’s federal police and their biggest catch in months, Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez. The 33-year-old Acosta, nicknamed “El Diego,” is believed to be the leader of La Linea, a group of assassins contracted by the Juárez drug cartel.
In the interviews, Acosta alleges what has long-been feared by those concerned with the drug wars in Mexico – that the cartels are being aided and abetted by corrupt officials within the Mexican government itself. Acosta, who was himself an officer with the Chihuahua state police before he was recruited by the gang in 2004, claims that the Juárez cartel has received aid from state and municipal officials in the form of information, uniforms and weapons. Some of this aid has led to the death of other government officials believed to be partnering with the rival Sinaloa cartel.
“[They were telling us] where there were checkpoints, where federal or soldier units were located and even the [location] of ministerial and municipal police,” Acosta said about the government help.