Languages
Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Mexican troops swoop on police HQ

Scene of general's murder near Cancun, 3 February 2009
Drugs cartels are blamed for General Tello's murder last week

Mexican troops have detained the police chief and 36 other officers in the resort of Cancun in connection with the murder last week of an ex-army general.

Soldiers swooped on the police HQ and took police chief Francisco Velasco to Mexico City for questioning.

Former general Mauro Enrique Tello, who had just taken command of a squad to tackle crime in Cancun, was tortured and shot by suspected traffickers.

Some 5,400 people were killed in drug-related violence in Mexico in 2008.

In a surprise operation, dozens of heavily armed soldiers swarmed on the police station in the municipality of Benito Juarez, which includes Cancun.

Soldiers stripped the police chief and his officers of their weapons to check the registration of the guns.

Chief Velasco was flown to the capital for questioning in connection with Gen Tello's murder.

Gen Tello, who retired from the army earlier this year, had been sent to Cancun to lead a new force intended to break up the influence of drugs cartels.

He and two other men with him were abducted on a local main road, then driven to a remote location where they were tortured and then shot.

No boundaries

The BBC correspondent in Mexico, Stephen Gibbs, says the general's death, the day after he arrived to take up his new job, is being blamed squarely on corrupt police and drugs cartels.

Drug-related violence in Mexico is soaring, as criminal gangs fight both each other for control of the trafficking routes from Colombia to the US, and fight federal forces deployed against them.

Some 40,000 soldiers and police have been deployed since December 2006 against the cartels.

Much of the violence to date has been concentrated in Mexico's northern border cities, while Cancun, which attracts millions of tourists every year, has largely been spared.

Our correspondent says the general's killing is another sign that Mexico's drug war has no boundaries.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Cancun killings linked to cartels
04 Feb 09 |  Americas
Mexico man 'dissolved 300 bodies'
24 Jan 09 |  Americas
Gunmen attack Mexico TV station
07 Jan 09 |  Americas
Mexico drug gang killings surge
09 Dec 08 |  Americas
US gives Mexico anti-drug funding
04 Dec 08 |  Americas
Mexican head steps up drugs fight
01 Oct 08 |  Americas

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific