HomeNewsBriefMexico City Airport Shooting Suspects Claim Conspiracy
BRIEF

Mexico City Airport Shooting Suspects Claim Conspiracy

MEXICO / 19 JUL 2012 BY MICHAEL KANE EN

Two of the three fugitive suspects in last month’s shoot-out between federal police at Mexico City airport have claimed that it was the officers who died, not them, who were part of a drug trafficking ring.

The two fugitives, Daniel Cruz Garcia and Zeferino Morales Franco, contacted Proceso to give their version of the story. They contend that the other officers had, over the course of several months, attempted to coerce them into joining the trafficking ring. According to the men, the commander of the federal police in the airport tried to persuade them to join, telling them he was asking on behalf of the regional head of the federal police, Luis Cardenas Palomino.

The two officers claim that they refused to participate, and the pressure turned into direct threats, especially after they said they would report it to their superiors.

According to Cruz and Morales, the threats culminated in the June 25 shootout. They claim that the three officers, including their direct superior, Enrique de Jesus Pacheco Valdez, approached them in the food court in Terminal 2, and the ensuing confrontation boiled over when one of the others shot Morales in the leg. According to Morales, the third fugitive suspect, Bogard Felipe Lugo de Leon, was on shift at the time of the argument and came over to tell the group to calm down, unaware of the nature of the disagreement.

Cruz Garcia and Morales Franco accept responsibility for the deaths of the other officers, but deny any charges related to drug trafficking. They told Proceso that they planned to turn themselves in after a full investigation has been carried out, but not to the Federal Police, in whom they have lost trust.

InSight Crime Analysis

Authorities claim the three suspects were among more than 180 people identified as part of an 18-month investigation of cartel operations in the airport. According to their account, on June 25, the three officers who died were attempting to arrest the suspects in the food court when the shooting broke out. At a press conference, Cardenas presented video evidence of an agent identified as Morales spending 11 minutes in the bathroom that morning near the arrivals gate of a flight from Lima, and exiting with a package under his jacket, which they claim was filled with cocaine.

Cruz and Morales raise some interesting questions about in the official story. Firstly, they maintain that on the day of the shooting their boss, Pacheco, turned up at the airport in civilian clothes and carrying a gun, even though he was supposed to be on vacation. They also contend that an operation to arrest two armed federal officers identified in a counter-trafficking operation would involve more than just three officers. Finally, they point out that no surveillance camera captured the shooting, despite the fact that there are 430 closed-circuit cameras in Terminal 2.

The airport in Mexico City is an important hub for international trafficking. As InSight has reported, it is easy for traffickers to hide illicit shipments, including methamphetamine precursors and cocaine, among the annual 28 million passengers and 409,000 tons of cargo.

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 3 FEB 2021

A dozen police officers have been implicated in the massacre of 19 people along the US-Mexico border at the end…

FENTANYL / 10 JUN 2022

Authorities in Mexico's northern state of Sinaloa have made a string of synthetic drug lab busts, underscoring how the state…

MEXICO / 9 JUN 2021

Over 90 percent of active personnel in Mexico’s National Guard remain uncertified two years after the police body’s creation, marking…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…