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High-ranking Mexico police officer arrested in CIA attack case

November 13, 2012|By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez

MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican federal prosecutor’s office announced Tuesday that a high-ranking federal police officer had been arrested in the case of two CIA operatives who were attacked south of Mexico City in August. He is the 15th member of the federal police to be detained in the incident.

Federal Police Inspector General Juan Manuel Pacheco Salgado was arrested Monday on suspicion of giving false information during the investigation of an attack  in which Mexican police officers fired more than 100 bullets into the CIA operatives’ SUV, according to a spokesperson for the federal prosecutor’s office.

Pacheco was not involved in the attack itself, the spokesperson said.

The CIA operatives were driving through dangerous territory in an armored SUV with diplomatic plates, accompanied by a Mexican navy officer, when they were fired upon by a group of plainclothes officers.

The prosecutor’s office, in charging the other officers last week, stated that the attackers “intended to take the lives” of the three, all of whom survived. The motive for the attack remains unclear.

The case has been a major embarrassment for the administration of outgoing President Felipe Calderon, who has been trying to clean up and strengthen Mexico’s federal police force.

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