Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego: Justice in Mexico Project, 10/4/11
From Veracruz to Monterrey, a small corruption investigation has created a domino effect in arrests of police officers with ties to cartel activity. A major police corruption ring was dismantled today after an investigation that exposed eighteen municipal police officers were working for the Zeta cartel in the areas of Acultzingo, Huiloapan, Rafael Delgado, Rio Blanco and Mendoza City, Veracruz. The sting operation was conducted from September 30th to October 3rd and provoked by an anonymous tip. The citizen complaint was further corroborated by naval intelligence that revealed the town of Rancho Viejo in the City of Nogales, Veracruz, had police officers working for organized crime groups. According to seized records, each police officer was paid a “salary” ranging from 2000 to 10,000 pesos. Yesterday, the Mexican Navy recovered locating an envelope stuffed with 10,000 pesos and a list of police officers and their pay for security and surveillance for the cartel while on-duty police officers.
Victor Osorio Santacruz, El Pantera, who served as deputy commander of the municipal police in Ciudad Mendoza was found to be a ranking official in the Zeta Cartel. Osorio’s job, like many of the officers arrested, was to monitor the movements of federal police in the region. All arrestees have been turned over to the Attorney General’s Office of Veracruz.