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Latino Daily News

Wednesday November 6, 2013

2 Federal Police Officers Kidnapped in Western Mexico

Two federal law enforcement agents assigned to investigate drug trafficking in the western Mexican state of Michoacan were kidnapped by suspected drug traffickers, state officials said.

Rene Rojas Marquez and Gabriel Quijano Santiago, investigators with the federal Attorney General’s Office, disappeared over the weekend, Michoacan Government Secretary Jaime Mares Camarena said.

The two federal law enforcement agents were assigned to gather intelligence in the city of Zamora, but they received orders over the weekend to join a federal operation targeting drug traffickers and run out of a joint operations base housing federal and state police and soldiers.

The AG’s office investigators had orders to report to the base in Briseñas, a city located 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Zamora and near the border with Jalisco state.

Superiors lost contact with the investigators on Sunday night while the two men were traveling in an AG’s office pick-up truck.

The burned truck was found in Cumuato, a community outside the city of Sahuayo, which is between Zamora and Briseñas.

Federal Police officers, state police and soldiers launched a search by air and land for the missing investigators, who were responsible for several drug seizures.

Michoacan is one of the states where the federal government is focusing its security operations because of the strong presence of drug traffickers.

On Monday, federal authorities took control of Lazaro Cardenas, a port in Michoacan.

The port of Lazaro Cardenas is considered the main entry point for drugs and drug precursors bound for La Familia Michoacana, a cartel that has a strong presence in the area.

Cartels like Los Caballeros Templarios, which was founded in March 2011 by former members of La Familia Michoacana and deals in both synthetic drugs and natural drugs, operate in the state.

The gang commits murders, stages kidnappings and runs extortion rackets that target business owners and transport companies, affecting everyday life.

Michoacan’s forests and mountains are used by drug traffickers to grow marijuana and produce synthetic drugs.

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