HomeNewsBrief3rd Mexican Army General Detained for Alleged Drug Links
BRIEF

3rd Mexican Army General Detained for Alleged Drug Links

MEXICO / 18 MAY 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

A third Mexican army general has been detained in a week for alleged ties to the Beltran Leyva Organization, a drug gang which used to work for the Sinaloa Cartel, evidence of that group's ties to the security forces which raises new questions about the military's role in fighting crime.

Retired General Ricardo Escorcia Vargas was detained Thursday and turned over to the attorney general's Office of Special Investigations into Organized Crime (SIEDO) for questioning. The order for his arrest was issued simultaneously with those for two other generals detained Tuesday for alleged drug ties.

In 2007, Escorcia was investigated for allegedly receiving payments from the Beltran Leyvas in exchange for offering them protection and handing over intelligence while commanding the 24th Military Zone in Morelos state, according to Excelsior. In December 2007, Escorcia allegedly allowed a small airplane to land at an airport in his jurisdiction despite the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warning the military that the craft was loaded with cocaine. By the time soldiers arrived at the site, the plane had been emptied of its cargo and crew. Escorcia was relieved of his command of the zone three days later, before leaving the military in April 2010 when he reached the mandatory retirement age.

An official at the Attorney General’s Office told the Associated Press that the other two generals were also accused of ties to the Beltran Leyvas.

InSight Crime Analysis

Escorcia's arrest, coming on top of that of two other generals earlier this week, adds fuel to a scandal which threatens to be the biggest corruption case of President Felipe Calderon's presidency. It does not help the image of Calderon and his embattled PAN party that at the time Escorcia was allegedly protecting the Beltran Leyvas, they were working for the Sinaloa Cartel, which Calderon's government has repeatedly been accused of favoring.

The case hints at cartel links to the highest levels of Mexico's military -- one of the generals currently under house arrest, Tomas Angeles Dauhare, was an undersecretary for defense who recently participated in a security forum hosted by frontrunner for the July presidential elections, Enrique Peña Nieto.

While the evolution of this investigation may have political implications for Mexico's upcoming election -- Peña has already moved to wash his hands of Angeles -- it also raises questions about the role of the military in fighting organized crime. The military was deployed under Calderon because it was thought to be less corrupt than local police forces, but the arrests puts that in question.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 12 NOV 2010

Mexican Marines seized 230 40mm grenades used for grenade launchers in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico’s El Universal newspaper …

JUDICIAL REFORM / 2 AUG 2011

Federal prosecutors in 21 of Mexico’s 31 states have resigned en masse from their posts, according to a statement…

HOMICIDES / 25 MAY 2016

The small west Mexico state of Colima has seen homicides rise by more than 900 percent compared to last year…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…