A Mexican judge has ordered the detention of 12 federal police officers accused of opening fire on a U.S. diplomatic vehicle outside of Mexico City last Friday, CNN reports. The officers will be held for 30 days (Reuters reported 40) while under investigation for five charges: attempted murder, abuse of authority, damage to property, bodily harm and abuse of public duty.
Two unidentified U.S. citizens were taken to a hospital after being shot – one in the leg and the other in the stomach and hand – while a member of the Mexican Navy who was with them suffered light bruises.
According to a statement from the Mexican Navy, the shooting took place at about 8 a.m. on Friday as a armoured Toyota Land Cruiser with diplomatic plates traveled down a dirt road on their way to a military facility south of the Mexican Capital.
Federal police approached and brandished their weapons before opening fire when the embassy vehicle attempted to evade them and return to the main highway connecting Mexico City to Cuernavaca.
Subsequently three other vehicles carrying federal police arrived and also shot at the black SUV.
The lawyer for the detained officers said they were investigating a kidnapping when they came across the embassy vehicle, which ignored their requests to stop.
Randall Archibald of the New York Times reports that the officers are “being kept in seclusion at a government office in Mexico City, while their lawyers and relatives outside complained of having limited access to them.”
The attack occurred in a mountainous area where drug gangs have been fighting for control since U.S.-backed marines killed drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva there in December 2009.
Here is CNN‘s report:
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