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State police take over in Ziracuaretiro, Michoacán. State police take over in Ziracuaretiro, Michoacán.

7 Michoacán cops arrested for forced disappearance

The manager and an employee of an avocado farm have been missing since September 10

A police force in Michoacán is the latest to investigate officers for criminal behavior.

Michoacán Attorney General Adrián López Solís announced that seven municipal police in Ziracuaretiro were arrested on Thursday in connection with the forced disappearance of two workers on an avocado farm.

López said an investigation established that the seven officers arrested the manager and two employees of the El Papayo farm on September 10 and stole their telephones and documents related to the property.

After beating and handcuffing the men, the police released one of the employees and left with the other two people in a Ziracuaretiro police car. They have not been seen since.

On Friday, 56 Michoacán state police officers assumed responsibility for law enforcement in the municipality. The state also designated a new police chief.

The incident is the latest in Ziracuaretiro and other Michoacán municipalities to indicate that organized crime continues its efforts to capture a piece of the lucrative avocado industry.

United States agricultural inspectors have been the targets of theft and harassment twice since mid-August, triggering a warning that a program that certifies avocados for export to the U.S. could be suspended.

Source: Mi Morelia (sp), El Financiero (sp)

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