As many as 35 federal police officers have been arrested in Mexico for suspected links with one of the country's most powerful drug cartels, the Zetas.
The officers, including four women, were arrested on Saturday in an operation in the eastern states of Veracruz and San Luis Potosi, where the Zetas have their stronghold, reports quoting the Mexican Navy said on Monday.
A turf war between the Zetas and rival criminal gangs in Veracruz has led to some of Mexico's worst massacres in recent years forcing President Felipe Calderon to launch a crackdown on the cartels along with investigating police officials who give them protection to carry out the illegal trade. Local police officers are often accused of ties with the drug cartels.
A Navy statement said the 35 people arrested "were all police officers in the Veracruz public security department and allegedly collaborated with the Zetas criminal organization". They were taken to Mexico City for presenting before the media.
Last year, the federal government deployed thousands of troops and federal police to Veracruz, a strategic state for trafficking routes into the United States.
An estimated 60,000 people have died in the drug related violence in Mexico since Calderon took office six years ago.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com