Tue, Jan 20, 2009 - Page 7 News List

Police officers in Mexico indicted for helping drug cartel

AFP , MEXICO CITY

Twenty-one police officers from drug infested Tijuana, across the border from the US state of California, were indicted on Sunday for collaborating with the notorious Tijuana drug cartel, the Attorney-General’s Office said.

Arrested in November, the 21 suspects — 19 municipal and two federal cops — have been charged with “organized crime and crimes against public health” in their dealings with the Tijuana cartel, the official said.

Meanwhile, in the north-­central state of Chihuahua, bordering the US state of Texas, 11 people were slain in ongoing drug violence in the past 24 hours, police said.

Most visible were the ­execution-style killings of a 45-year-old man and his 15-year-old nephew who lived in the US and were visiting relatives in Ciudad Juarez, and a pair of youths riddled with bullets outside a bar in the same city.

The Mexican government has deployed more than 36,000 troops across the country as part of a clampdown on drug trafficking and related violence launched in early 2006.

Despite some high-profile arrests of cartel leaders and corrupt officials, more than 5,300 people died in drug-related attacks last year, more than double the previous year, according to official figures.

Nearly half the murder victims were slain in Chihuahua state.

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