HomeNewsBrief'Mexican Local Police Kidnapped by Fellow Officers, Tortured'
BRIEF

'Mexican Local Police Kidnapped by Fellow Officers, Tortured'

MEXICO / 19 OCT 2012 BY CLAIRE O NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

Five municipal police who were found drunk in a bar in Durango state after being reported missing days earlier now say that state police kidnapped them and handed them over to a group who tortured them and forced them to drink alcohol.

Five municipal police from the town of Lerdo, Durango, including the police chief, disappeared on October 15, prompting the mayor to initiate a search for them. On the morning of October 18, the missing police were found, inebriated, in a bar in the state capital. At that time, the state attorney general, Sonia Yadira de la Garza, told La Jornada that none gave any indication of having been taken against their will.

After returning to Lerdo, however, the five men held a press conference in the mayor's office and said that on October 15 they were intercepted by state police, questioned about linkages to organized crime and then taken, blindfolded and handcuffed, to an unknown location, reported Milenio. The state police then handed them off to a group of men who tortured them, forced them to drink alcohol, and then dropped them at the bar where they were later found, they said.

One of the men has been hospitalized for second and third degree burns, and the others showed the press injuries such as bruises, ligature marks, and burns reportedly made by a blowtorch (see video, below).

In an interview with Milenio after the press conference, a spokesman for Durango's Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) echoed the attorney general's original statement that the men had not reported any injuries to state authorities, but promised a full investigation.

InSight Crime Analysis

If the officers' account is true, it illustrates the enormous challenges faced by Mexico's municipal police. While local police forces in Mexico have a well-deserved reputation for corruption, their jobs are extremely difficult: they are often poorly paid, hopelessly outgunned, and thus vulnerable to pressure or violent reprisals from criminal groups.

The use of abusive methods to root out corrupt police officers has also been reported in Tijuana, where municipal police chief Julian Leyzaola was accused of overseeing the abduction and torture of officers suspected of links with drug gangs.

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

ARGENTINA / 12 AUG 2019

A series of small seizures in which Argentine cocaine smugglers sought to reach New Zealand provides evidence of the growing…

MEXICO / 1 SEP 2013

A new report from a prominent analyst of regional security issues provides a detailed analysis of the limitations of…

MEXICO / 16 SEP 2011

Mexico's crackdown on methaphetamine is pushing the industry into other Central and South American countries, according to a new report…

About InSight Crime

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.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…