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

HUMAN SMUGGLING / 19 OCT 2011

A substantial drop in undocumented immigration from Mexico to the United States, but is this really due to Mexicans staying…

MEXICO / 11 JUL 2011

Authorities in the northern Mexican city of Torreon found a severed head and ten decapitated bodies in a…

ILLEGAL MINING / 22 APR 2015

A new video of a caravan of hitmen in northern Mexican offers a rare view of the fighting forces of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.