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Mexico prosecutors office admits infiltration by drug cartel

[JURIST] Mexican Assistant Attorney General Marisela Morales Ibanez, head of Mexico's Assistant Prosecutors Office Specializing in Organized Crime (SIEDO) [official website], said Monday a branch of a Mexican drug cartel had infiltrated her office. Following SIEDO's 'Operation Cleaning,' Miguel Colorado Gonzales, Fernado Rivera Hernadez, Jorge Alberto Zavala, Antonio Mejia Robles, and at least one other federal investigator (all from SIEDO) are accused of receiving between $150,000 and $450,000 (USD) a month from the Sinaloa syndicate in exchange for confidential information. The investigation also revealed that the cartel had at least one insider at the US Embassy in Mexico. A protected informant claimed that while he worked at the embassy as a criminal investigator, he was paid to turn over information about US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials and investigations in real time to the cartel. In 2008 he received $30,000 for his work. The informant claimed he did similar work for the cartel while employed by Interpol at the Mexico City airport. AP has more. El Universal has local coverage, in Spanish.

Sinaloa maintains links with a number of other Mexican drug cartels, includng one formerly headed by Mexican drug lord Francisco Rafael Arellano-Felix, who was released from a US prison in March. Arellano-Felix ran the Arellano-Felix cartel [PBS backgrounder] until his 1993 arrest. He served more than 11 years in prison in Mexico on drug and illegal-weapons charges, before he became the first major drug dealer to be extradited from Mexico to the US [JURIST report] in 2006.

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