Drug Kingpins Corrupt Elite Mexican Unit

Top anti-drug agents accused of passing information to traffickers

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 28, 2008 10:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two senior officials from an elite Mexican anti-drug unit have been arrested and charged with spying for drug cartels, the Los Angeles Times reports, and dozens of agents have been fired following a tip-off from a captured informant. Prosecutors say the officials leaked information to the gangs they were supposed to be targeting in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.

"They handed over secret information and details of operations against the Beltran Leyva criminal organization," Mexico's attorney general said. Mexican authorities fear the corruption in a once-trusted unit has dealt a hammer blow to its war on drugs—especially as it is likely to make American anti-drug agencies more wary of sharing information with their Mexican counterparts.

Luis Ramirez Vazquez, aka "El Guero Camaron", member of the Arellano Felix drug cartel, right, is shown to media members in Tijuana, northern Mexico, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008.   (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
Mexican soldiers take part in a shootout during which Eduardo Arellano Felix, leader of Tijuana-based drug cartel, was captured together with his daughter in Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008.   (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
This composite images shows Fernando Rivera Hernandez, left, and Miguel Colorado Gonzalez, former employees of the Attorney General's office assigned to the unit charged with fighting organized crime.   (AP Photo/PGR-HO)
Mexican federal police officers escort Alfredo Beltran Leyva, known as "El Mochomo," upon his arrival at the Mexico City's airport, Monday, Jan. 21, 2008.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
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