Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mexican drug gang attacks government intelligence network - International Herald Tribune

AP via the International Herald Tribune reports more mayhem in Mexico:

MEXICO CITY: A deadly attack on federal intelligence agents in northern Mexico was a botched kidnapping attempt orchestrated by drug traffickers with increasingly advanced counterintelligence capabilities, a state government official said Monday.

Natividad Gonzalez, governor of the northern state of Nuevo Leon, said federal intelligence officers were tipped off that alleged members of Mexico's Gulf drug cartel "wanted to kidnap two or three agents" prior to the attack last Tuesday in the state capital of Monterrey. Two officers were killed and two more wounded in the ensuing shootout.

Federal police rounded up about a dozen members of a family believed to work for the cartel in connection with the shootout. The clan, dubbed "The Pedraza Dynasty" by Mexican newspapers, may have learned of the agents' identities from local policemen, Gonzalez said.

Intelligence agents have been targeted for assassination before, but the attack showed that traffickers not only knew who the agents were but also wanted to take the heavily armed officers alive, Gonzalez said.

"Clearly they wanted to get revenge, or obtain information" from the agents, Gonzalez said.

No officers were kidnapped in the attack.

He added that so far this year, as many as 500 of the state's 8,000 police officers have been arrested for taking bribes from traffickers or left the force when faced with mandatory drug tests.

"The degree of corruption over the last two years was humiliating," Gonzalez said. He also faulted "a certain abandoning of government efforts against organized crime on the international level, and in the United States" with the uptick in drug violence.

Mexican drug gang attacks government intelligence network - International Herald Tribune


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