A judge has released three of the five remaining suspects arrested in an October 23 raid on a crime gang bunker in the Mexico City neighborhood of Morelos.
After having released 27 other alleged members of the La Unión de Tepito gang last week, Tuesday’s decision by supervisory judge Jesús Delgadillo Padierna now leaves only two of the original 32 suspects in police custody.
Detained on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and possession of illegal firearms, the three were released after security and traffic camera footage revealed inconsistencies in the official police reports of the raid and arrests. The footage was authenticated by a Mexico City police officer.
Although most of the suspects have been set free, Mexico City Police Chief Omar García Harfuch doesn’t consider the operation to have been a total failure.
“I don’t consider it a failure at all . . . because now we don’t have police there guarding that drug distribution center,” García said of the gang’s bunker, which was protected by corrupt police officers.
He said his department will respect the judge’s decisions and also carry out an in-depth review of protocols in order to put a stop to imprecision in police reports. He said that strengthening the legal process and guaranteeing precision will be priorities for the police.
“For us the operation was a success. It dismantled one of the biggest centers of criminal operations [in the city and] seized a large quantity of drugs and firearms . . . the fact that those weapons are no longer on the street is a success for us,” he said.
García asked for Mexico City residents’ trust and assured them that through the operation in Tepito more information has turned up about other criminal centers of operation.