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Latino Daily News

Friday August 23, 2013

Ex-L.A. Cop Went Missing in Mexico in 2010, Says Family

A Mexican man who had returned to his homeland after working as a police officer in Southern California went missing three years ago in the central state of Morelos, his relatives said.

The family had not reported the case until now because they had received numerous threats while searching for clues to the whereabouts of Angel Saul Muñoz Perez, his sister, Lorena, told Efe.

“That’s why we’re now reporting this case for the first time,” she said in a telephone interview.

Muñoz Perez worked a lengthy stint as a Los Angeles police officer until deciding for personal reasons to return to Mexico, where he planned to continue his work in law enforcement.

His experience in the United States instilled a desire to improve police work in Mexico, according to Lorena, who said her brother worked in the previous Morelos administration under then-Public Safety Secretary Luis Angel Cabeza de Vaca.

“They offered him work so he could start investigating how the police was working. Cabeza de Vaca hired him to start training” other officers, she added.

After a while, he started becoming aware of numerous corruption-related issues, according to Lorena, who declined to elaborate.

On Feb. 16, 2010, Muñoz Perez, 50, and another man who had worked as a bodyguard for local government officials were abducted by a group of individuals riding in an SUV.

When the family tried to look for him, they were warned to remain silent or stonewalled, “and the United States did not help us because they said that when someone works for the government here they can no longer intervene,” Lorena said.

Muñoz Perez’s family is one of six who traveled Wednesday from Morelos to Mexico City to meet and discuss their cases - four disappearances and two murders - with federal authorities.

Morelos is one of the Mexican states most beset by drug-related violence and an area of the country where kidnappings, homicides and extortion rackets are commonplace.

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