Mexico City gang leader Óscar “El Lunares” N., the target of a police raid on Tuesday, paid for parties for Mexico City police officers, according to the Secretariat of Public Security (SSC).
A photo of the leader of La Unión de Tepito partying with uniformed officers was found during the raid by police and marines on the organization’s bunker. The raid also turned up an altar believed to have been used by the gang leader to call on spirits and demons for his protection against police and other enemies.
According to investigators, El Lunares organized parties for officers of the city’s Morelos neighborhood, the gang’s base of operations, as well as those assigned to security details elsewhere in the boroughs of Cuauhtémoc and Venustiano Carranza.
The newspaper El Universal reported that 40 officers of the Mexico City Investigative Police and at least 80 SSC officers are currently under investigation for collusion with the gang.
Police Chief Omar García Harfuch said he will initiate a process to rid the force of corrupt elements and admitted that local security forces are still infiltrated by organized crime.
He said that capturing the organization’s leader was the primary purpose of Tuesday’s operation, but El Lunares had been notified of the raid and was able to escape before he could be detained.
“The SSC was aware of the collusion of this criminal group with Mexico City authorities, who probably gave protection to the organization,” said García. “That’s why we chose to act as quickly as possible, since one of this administration’s priorities is to combat corruption.”
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum confirmed the collusion of SSC and police officers with narco-trafficking gangs.
“There were people in the SSC and the Investigative Police linked to organized crime,” she told a press conference. “We’re doing important work with internal intelligence to clean up those institutions.”
A search of the gang’s bunker after Tuesday’s raid revealed an altar that contained human skulls, demonic masks, crucifixes, statuettes and dozens of wooden sticks. The newspaper Milenio reported that experts consulted about the altar suggested that it was connected with an African religion called Palo Mayombe, and would have been used to sacrifice animals in a ritual to seek protection.
Source: El Universal (sp)