Two high ranking officials in the Mexico City borough of Tláhuac have been dismissed as a result of investigations into the criminal network presumably run by slain gang leader Felipe de Jesús Pérez Luna, also known as El Ojos (The Eyes).
The Tláhuac Cartel was involved in a confrontation with the Marines on July 20 that left its suspected leader and seven of his sicarios (hitmen) dead.
Mexico City Attorney General Edmundo Garrido announced that prosecutor José Manuel Everardo Gordillo and the head of the investigative police, José Manuel Moreno, had both been removed from their positions, describing the decision as an “act of transparency” in an investigation that will not permit complicity between officials and organized crime.
Also under investigation are 76 officials from the Mexico City Attorney General’s office (PGJDF), many of whom were called to give witness statements.
All worked in a decentralized division of the PGJDF in Tláhuac and were required to work on criminal investigations in the borough, including those related to homicide, extortion, theft and drug dealing, all of which are crimes the Tláhuac Cartel is suspected of being involved.
According to an internal investigation, the officials operated as halcones — hawks or lookouts — for the cartel, informing members when there were inquiries being conducted against them. Allegations that they received 20,000 pesos (US $1,100) a month for cooperating with the criminal group are also being investigated.
In addition, 10 police officers have also been caught up in the investigation. Mexico City Police Chief Hiram Almeida Estrada said four officers are currently suspended while their dismissal is processed, a further two have dismissal applications pending and four more are still under investigation.
Almeida said the probe had identified “some behavior contrary to the duty of correct police action” and consequently reviewed video footage, interviewed more than 100 officers and analyzed the geolocation systems of more than 40 patrols, an investigation that brought evidence of complicity to light.
It is alleged that the 10 officers, who were assigned to coordination and command positions in Tláhuac, provided protection to criminal elements and informed them about the planned operation that resulted in Pérez Luna’s death.
Tláhuac Mayor Rigoberto Salgado has also been implicated, accused of having links to the cartel and its former leader. He appeared before the Mexico City legislative assembly on Wednesday where local deputies said he should resign. He declined to do so, denying any criminal connections.
Today, deputies initiated the process to have him removed from office on the grounds that his family had benefited from his position as mayor and that family members of Pérez Luna were on the borough’s payroll.
Source: Milenio (sp)