NPR Story
1:34 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Mexican Federal Police Officers Used Patrol Cars To Carry Out Kidnappings

Thirteen federal police officers recently arrested in Mexico on kidnapping and murder charges used their patrol cars to carry out the crimes, the Mexican Federal Attorney General's Office said Wednesday.

The 13 were part of a group of 18 that were arrested in the state of Guerrero. They are charged with at least seven murders and four kidnappings. The arrests may hurt the image of President Enrique Peña Nieto's public security policies. Since he took office, 94 federal police have been charged with murder, kidnapping, extortion and robbery.

This past March, the Mexican justice department said 94 percent of its federal police were certified as credible enough to serve after passing background and toxicology tests, so it's not clear whether those 94 officers charged this year began their criminal careers before they entered the force or after.

Further damaging the country's image is a report out this week showing the vast amount of kidnappings that have gone unreported in the country. The country's census bureau tallied more than 105,000 kidnappings in 2012 alone. But only 1,317 were actually reported. Mexico's confidence in its police seems to still be an issue for the country.

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