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Mexico forces arrest public officials for corruption related to drug trade

[JURIST] Mexican security forces arrested 27 government officials in Michoacan Tuesday on corruption charges related to the illegal drug trade [Los Angeles Times backgrounder]. Those arrested include [Houston Chronicle report] 10 mayors, the chief adviser to the Michoacan attorney general, the director of the Michoacan police academy, and the top public security aide to Governor Leonel Godoy [official profile, in Spanish]. Michoacan is the home state of the La Familia drug cartel [NPR backgrounder] and has been the site of rival gang violence. Tuesday's arrests represent the largest number of elected officials [Los Angeles Times report] arrested for drug-related corruption offenses.

Last month, the Mexican Senate passed an amendment [JURIST report] to the country's constitution that would permit the government to seize property from suspected drug traffickers and other criminals prior to conviction. In October, reports indicated that both the Assistant Attorney General’s Office Specializing in Organized Crime (SIEDO) and the US Embassy in Mexico had been infiltrated [JURIST report] by a branch of the Sinaloa drug cartel, which paid officials to turn over confidential information. The chief of Mexico's Federal Preventative Police resigned [JURIST report] in connection to the investigation.

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