Photo: Corrupt Police Allow Prisoners to Keep Kidnap Victims in Jail
Officials are saying that a number of officers at northern Mexico prisons allowed members of Los Zetas drug cartel to hold their kidnap victims in the local jails while they awaited the ransom payments from the victims’ families. And as details of this story come to light, the drug-fueled violence has claimed more lives, as bodies of 32 victims were found in three Veracruz houses.
In Juarez, a suburb of Monterrey, it was discovered that prison officers, who are also believed to be members of Los Zetas, allowed prisoners to hold at least two kidnap victims in the prison.
Jorge Domene, security spokesman for the state of Nuevo Leon, said the victims were freed from the jail cells. He added that last weekend, the state’s attorney general’s office arrested 73 local police officers from a number of communities throughout the state.
Background checks are said to have been performed on an additional 99 officer, with 21 being fired for refusing to cooperate.
As the investigation into how the kidnap victims were allowed to be held in the jail continues, the drug cartels continue to fight of territory and power, and officials believe the deaths of more than two dozen people found in Veracruz are a result of that fight.
It appears the battle between Los Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel has claimed even more lives, as the Mexican navy said it found 32 bodies in three separate homes in Veracruz Thursday.
Twenty bodies were found in one home, with 11 in another and the final person in a third home.
These events come just two weeks after 35 tortured bodies were dumped off an overpass in the Gulf coast seaport of Veracruz.
Last week, President Felipe Calderon sent federal police, soldiers, and sailors to the Veracruz to help protect the people from cartel-related violence.
Thursday, President Calderon said the country’s police corruption problem is not helped by the fact that many local officers still earn only earn about $350 a month, with some making less.
During Thursday’s speech, Calderon told the business community, “We have barely been in time to put the brakes on organized crime in the first stages, but in some towns, in some areas of the country, they have infiltrated authorities in a practically symbiotic relationship.”
In some areas, those who have filed complaints with police have been immediately contacted by angry criminals, leading many to assume the criminals and police are one in the same these days.