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4 More Mexico Police Commanders Implicated in CIA Shooting

A scene from the attack on the CIA agents A scene from the attack on the CIA agents

Federal prosecutors have charged four more federal police commanders with involvement in the August attack on two CIA agents in central Mexico, as the scandal deepens.

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Federal prosecutors charged the officers in what the Attorney General's Office (Procuraduria General de la Republica - PGR) is now saying was a "direct" attack against two CIA agents in an area known as Tres Marias, reported El Universal.

The new charges follow the arrest of federal police commander Juan Manuel Pacheco Salgado on November 13, who was detained over accusations that he tried to cover up the details of the attack.

The 14 federal police officers directly involved in the attack, who were formally charged with attempted murder on November 9, told prosecutors that they acted under the orders of their superiors. At the press conference announcing the new charges, assistant prosecutor Victoria Pacheco Jimenez declined to give the names of the four accused commanders, but told the press that the highest ranking official charged was an Inspector General.

InSight Crime Analysis

In the immediate aftermath of the August 24 attack on the CIA agents -- in which Federal Police officers, traveling in unmarked vehicles and clad in civilian clothing, fired over 152 rounds at a diplomatic vehicle carrying two CIA agents and a Mexican Navy captain -- Mexican officials initially claimed the the police mistook the agents for kidnappers. While there was a kidnapping case in the area under investigation at the time, the PGR has discounted this scenario and now says the shooting was deliberate. This admission comes after weeks of speculation in the media, fueled by tips from anonymous US government sources, that the shooting was not accidental.

As shown in a video of the PGR press conference, the official inquiry concluded that the Federal Police, not the Mexican marine accompanying the CIA agents, opened fire first, and that all the shell cases discovered at the scene were discharged from the Federal Police officers' weapons. The diplomatic vehicle sustained 152 hits, the majority of which were aimed at the windows, which are some of the most vulnerable parts of an armed car. After the attack, the officers went to the police station to change into their uniforms. 

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