A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012

14 federal police charged in wounding of CIA agents, Mexican navy captain in August

     Fourteen federal police were charged in the wounding of two CIA agents and a Mexican navy captain in Morelos state in August.

     The police invovled say they attacked the vehicle the three were traveling in because they thought they were criminals. Federal police officials said they consider the 14 to be innocent until proven guilty.

     One of many questions in the case is why the federal police involved in the shooting wore civilian clothes and unmarked or private vehicles during the attack, but then later put on their uniforms and switched to police vehicles. Story, El Universal. Story in Frontera (PDF).

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012

Mexican Attorney General's Office says 14 federal police are now under arraigo in shooting of 2 CIA agents and Mexican navy captain

      The Mexican Attorney General's Office says 14 federal police are now under arraigo in the Aug. 24 shooting of two CIA agents and Mexican navy captain. Before, 12 police were under arraigo, where suspects in organized-crime cases can be held for 40 days without charge. The period can be extended for another 40 days. The first arraigo period would have been up for the police earlier this month.

Story in El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2012

Rights commission to look into possible violation of rights of federal police being investigated in shooting of 2 CIA agents and a Mexican navy captain

Mexico's federal human rights commission is going to look into the possible violation of the rights of federal police who are being investigated in last month's shooting of two CIA agents and a Mexican navy captain in Morelos state.
Reforma's story said 12 federal police were placed under arraigo, where suspects can be held 40 days without charge in suspected organized crime cases.
Earlier this month, the Mexican navy said federal police were investigating a kidnapping in the area when they shot at the U.S. Embassy vehicle, allowing for the possibility that the shooting occurred as a result of a case of mistaken identity.
Story in Frontera (PDF).

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012

Mexican navy says federal police indeed were investigating a kidnapping when they shot U.S. Embassy vehicle containing 2 U.S. agents and a Mexican navy captain

The Mexican navy said Monday that its investigation showed that federal police indeed were investigating a kidnapping in Morelos state when they pursued and shot a U.S. Embassy vehicle Aug. 24, Televisa reported. Some had speculated that the federal police were involved in larger organized crime plot against the United States and the Mexican navy.
Previous mention that federal police said they were investigating a kidnapping.

Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012

Sergio Sarmiento raises questions about shooting of U.S. Embassy vehicle

Use of arraigo is inappropriate, he indicates; why does navy have a shooting range in a landlocked state? Why weren't federal police in uniform?

Commentator Sergio Sarmiento, in his column Wednesday, raised numerous questions about Friday's federal police shooting of a U.S. Embassy vehicle in Morelos state, including questioning why the police were detained under arraigo if the police are only accused of abuse of authority. Arraigo, which involves a detention of people without charge of up to 40 days, is only to be used in suspected organized crime cases.

Sarmiento wondered why the Mexican navy captain was reported to be driving the U.S. vehicle, and what U.S. officials were going to be doing at what was reported to be a shooting range for the Mexican navy. Update: The Mexican navy issued a media release Tuesday saying the navy officer never drove the vehicle and was in the back seat.

Sarmiento also wondered why the navy has a shooting range in landlocked Morelos state. Sarmiento said that while it is unknown what U.S. agency the U.S. officials work for, La Jornada reported that sources said they work for the CIA.
Update: The New York Times also reported that they work for the CIA.

Sarmiento said that while federal police are supposed to wear their uniforms, they were not, and he understood why under such circumstances the driver of the U.S. vehicle would not have wanted to stop. He noted that many innocents have been killed by Mexican authorities during the government's war against drugs.

He concluded by saying that the episode reveals the "murkiness of the waters the crusade against drug traffickers moves in. All the participants violate the law and all hide information. We civilians have no way to know which are the good guys and which are the bad guys. But the bullets from both sides kill equally."
Sarmiento's column (PDF).

Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012

Televisa reverses ground in re-enactment of shooting of U.S. Embassy vehicle; while on Friday its re-enactment showed federal police in marked police cars in pursuit of the U.S. vehicle, on Monday it shows federal police in unmarked vehicles

The Televisa TV news with Joaquín López-Doriga on Monday night reversed ground in its animated re-enactment of Friday's federal police shooting of a U.S. Embassy vehicle in Morelos state. While on Friday the re-enactment showed four marked federal police cars in pursuit of the U.S. Embassy vehicle, on Monday its new re-enactment showed that the vehicles the federal police were traveling in were unmarked.

Televisa had an audio interview with federal Attorney General's Office official Victoria Pacheco Jiménez in which she said authorities were investigating whether the federal police involved had changed clothes so that they were in uniform after the shooting occurred. She said gunpowder tests were being performed on their clothes. The 12 federal police involved have been placed under arraigo, a detention that can take place for up to 40 days in suspected organized-crime cases.

She told Televisa that the Mexican navy officer who was in the U.S. Embassy vehicle gave his statement to authorities on Monday and that the two U.S. officials who were wounded had not given their statements.

Tuesday's arraigo story in Frontera (PDF).

Update, Aug. 29: Televisa's Tuesday news show had a third animated reenactment, this time showing two of the vehicles federal police traveled in as pickup trucks.
Update, Aug. 30: The two U.S. officials returned to the United States for treatment without being interviewed by Mexican officials, Attorney General Marisela Morales said. She said they could be interviewed in the United States as well as in Mexico.

Monday, Aug. 27, 2012

Federal police who shot U.S. Embassy vehicle say they confused it with one used by Morelos kidnappers

U.S. vehicle had diplomatic plates, but it also did not stop when approached by federal police

Federal police who chased and shot an armored U.S. Embassy vehicle with diplomatic plates Friday, injuring two U.S. officials, told investigators that they confused the vehicle with one used by kidnappers in Morelos state, Mexican media reported.

Televisa reported Friday that the U.S. vehicle, also carrying a Mexican navy captain, was traveling around the kilometer 46 or 47 mark on the Mexico-Cuernavaca federal highway around 8 a.m. when it turned onto a dirt road leading to a navy installation on the Cerro El Capulin near Tres Marías in Morelos state.

Televisa, in an animated re-enactment, said a federal police vehicle whose occupants brandished weapons caught up with the U.S. vehicle, at which point the U.S. vehicle turned around and returned to the federal highway. The federal police vehicle, in pursuit, shot at the U.S. vehicle and was soon accompanied by three other federal police vehicles, Televisa reported. Televisa said the chase went on for three kilometers, with the U.S. vehicle being shot at multiple times. One federal police vehicle rammed into the right front of the U.S. vehicle to try to stop it, and ultimately the U.S. vehicle's tires were shot out. The U.S. vehicle finally stopped around kilometer 50 of the highway, the network said. The navy captain had called the military installation to inform it of the problem, and the military arrived at the scene soon afterward. The U.S. officials were taken to a Cuernavaca hospital and later to a Mexico City hospital. The U.S. officials, identified as Jess Hoods Garner and Stan Dove Boss, were reported to be in stable condition Sunday. (Other stories later referred to Garner as Jess Hood Garner.)

Columnist Leo Zuckermann (PDF) said he had had high hopes for federal police, but now wonders after the 2010 Jorge Ferreira torture case, the Mexico City airport killings linked to federal police corruption, and Friday's shooting of the U.S. Embassy vehicle. But commentator Sergio Sarmiento (PDF), at the end of his column, has the federal policemen's families saying the officers had only been performing their duties after the U.S. vehicle failed to stop.

Twelve federal police involved were being detained under arraigo, in which suspects in organized-crime cases can be held for 40 days without charge.

Monday's story in Frontera (PDF). Saturday's La Jornada Morelos story.
Tuesday's arraigo story in Frontera (PDF).