Over 100 Police in North Mexican City Arrested over Ties to Drug Trade

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State authorities detained more than 100 municipal police officers and cadets suspected of corruption and links to organized crime in a single town in the north Mexico state of Nuevo Leon.

The operation took place in Linares, where 60 police and 40 cadets were apprehended, while another 18 officers were arrested in the nearby municipality of Villaldama, reports Milenio. According to the mayor of Linares, the suspects include mid-level and senior police officers.

El Universal reports that police-issued weapons from the two municipalities will be analyzed to determine if they have been used in any crimes. The operation was carried in response to complaints of extortion and kidnapping for ransom on the part of local business owners and farmers.

This weekend’s surprise raids on police departments in Linares and Villaldama follow similar operations that took place in the Nuevo Leon towns of Santa Catarina, Apodaca, Pesqueria and Mina last weekend, which resulted in the detention of 157 municipal police (originally reported as 175).

Nuevo Leon is currently establishing a new civil police force, set to have some 14,000 members by 2014, which will take on the army’s role in fighting organized crime. The state has been hard hit by drug violence, and in one illustration of the chaotic situation of local police, some 28 municipal officers resigned en masse in January after two of their colleagues were found beheaded.

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