Mexico replaces all federal police at key airport | News | DW | 20.08.2012
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Mexico replaces all federal police at key airport

All 348 police officers assigned to Mexico City's international airport have been replaced after three officers were shot dead when they confronted colleagues allegedly involved in drugs trafficking.

Maschinen der Fluggesellschaft Aero Mexico auf dem Rollfeld des Internationalen Flughafens in Mexico City, aufgenommen am 22.07.2004. Foto: Mario Guzman +++(c) dpa - Report+++

Flughafen Mexiko Stadt

Regional federal police chief Luis Cardenas made the announcement on Sunday in Mexico City, saying the replacement officers had been brought in from around the country.

The new officers had also undergone psychological and drugs testing, he said, while the outgoing officers had been assigned posts in other Mexican states.

On June 25, three officers were killed by colleagues who were confronted over their alleged involvement in cocaine smuggling from South America on incoming airliners.

One suspected police officer is in custody, while two others are still on the run.

Drugs sneaked through airport controls

Cardenas said an investigation had learned that passengers on flights from South America would hide drugs in the restrooms of the Mexico City airport before going through customs, and officers in on the operation would then retrieve the drugs and sneak them out of the airport.

Drug-related killings have been a serious problem in Mexico for years. More than 50,000 people have died since an effort to use the military to crack down on drug cartels was implemented in 2006 by President Felipe Calderon.

mz/ipj (AFP, Reuters)

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