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.

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. 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The prison system in Latin America and the Caribbean has become a prime incubator for organized crime. This overview -- the first of six reports on prison systems that we produced after a year-long investigation -- traces the origins and maps the consequences of the problem, including...

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Olfato. It is a term used quite often in law enforcement and judicial circles in Central America (and other parts of the world as well). It refers to the sixth sense they have as they see a crime scene, investigate a murder or plow through the paperwork...

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

In San Pedro Sula's jailhouse, chaos reigns. The inmates, trapped in their collective misery, battle for control over every inch of their tight quarters. Farm animals and guard dogs roam free and feed off scraps, which can include a human heart. Every day is visitors' day, and...

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

In the last decade, homicides in Guatemala have obeyed a fairly steady pattern. Guatemala City and some of its surrounding municipalities have the greatest sheer number of homicides. Other states, particularly along the eastern border have the highest homicide rates. Among these are the departments of Escuintla...

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador's prison system is the headquarters of the country's largest gangs. It is also where one of these gangs, the MS13, is fighting amongst itself for control of the organization.

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network. The BACRIM's roots lie in the demobilized paramilitary umbrella group the United Self-Defense...

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Following Guatemala's long and brutal civil war, members of the military were charged, faced trial and sentenced to jail time. Even some members of a powerful elite unit known as the Kaibil were put behind bars. Among these prisoners, none were more emblematic than Captain Byron Lima...

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...