HomeNewsBriefMexican Police Caught Kidnapping in Video
BRIEF

Mexican Police Caught Kidnapping in Video

KIDNAPPING / 19 JUL 2012 BY TRACEY KNOTT EN

A hotel security video caught Jalisco police officers assisting in a kidnapping, highlighting the depth of corruption in Mexico’s security forces.

In January 2012, several Jalisco police officers were caught on security footage assisting gunmen in a kidnapping. The bodies of the kidnapping victims were found shortly afterwards, bearing evidence of torture.

According to the AP, a spokesperson for the Jalisco attorney general's office said the victims had been arrested earlier in the day for a minor infraction. During their detention by police, they reportedly claimed they were connected to the Zetas cartel, perhaps in an attempt to get out of charges. Instead, it is believed that someone in the jail passed on the information to a rival cartel, who presumably deployed several municipal police officers to kidnap the victims.

However, it is not yet clear whether the victims were actually members of a cartel, or whether they simply pretended to be, in order to pressure police into releasing them. The state prosecutor's office later denied that the men were criminals, identifying the victims as lawyer Cesar Alcala, legal assistant Jorge Arredondo, and contruction worker Jorge Bustos.

On the video, the accompanying gunmen appear to be directing the police, who provide the authority necessary to ensure the hotel staff’s quiet cooperation. The gunmen are believed to be members of the New Generation cartel, based in Jalisco.

Although the incident took place in January, and the faces of several of the participants were caught on camera, Jalisco police did not detain the suspected officers until June 6. The spokesperson for the Jalisco state prosecutor said that seven members of the police force have been detained so far; however, none have yet to be charged. The spokesperson said that the delay was due to the state police’s difficulty in obtaining the tapes, adding, “We didn’t have the information.”

InSight Crime Analysis

Mexico has widespread problems with corruption, especially in its security forces. The World Justice Project’s 2011 Rule of Law Index ranks Mexico 53rd out of 66 nations for its high level of state corruption.

The depth of corruption and violence in the country forces many police officers to chose between “plata o plomo": money from bribes or a bullet from displeased cartel recruiters.

In Jalisco, the situation is particularly bad. In May 2012, an unidentified cartel attempted to recruit hundreds of purged police through an online advertisement. At the time, around 900 police had been fired for failing to meet the standards of the state’s new security vetting program.

The Jalisco police’s involvement in the kidnapping highlights the level of corruption in the state. However, the six-month delay in the investigation is also cause for alarm, and casts further doubt on the ability of police to conduct internal probes into alleged misconduct.

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.

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

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 28 FEB 2011

Retailers in the U.S. are a major source of weapons for Mexican drug trafficking organizations, but many of their armaments…

INFOGRAPHICS / 19 SEP 2011

A year after the massacre of 72 migrants in San Fernando, north Mexico, journalist Gary Moore visited the town and…

ELITES AND CRIME / 18 APR 2019

US authorities have charged a Guatemalan presidential candidate with soliciting campaign funds from Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…