05/20/12 – Authorities have detained four military officials within the past week for possible ties to drug trafficking and organized crime, specifically related to the Beltrán Leyva Organization. The men were detained after officials received orders from the federal Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) to apprehend the suspects.
Of the four, two are currently being in arraigo, a form of preventative detention that authorities use to hold suspects while gathering more evidence in the case. Retired General Tomás Ángeles Dauahare, who served as the previous assistant defense secretary from 2006 to 2008, and General Roberto Dawe González, stationed in Colima at the time of his detention, were both arrested on Tuesday, May 15 and placed under surveillance of the PGR. The arraigo, which was granted by the Federal Penal Judge for Searches, Arraigos, and Communication Interceptions, will last no more than 40 days. According to the PGR, the information used to serve Ángeles Dauahare and Dawe González with their detentions came from a case opened in March of this year against the two generals that was based on “the testimony of several people on trial, including some soldiers.” The investigation may have began much earlier, however, as reports have noted that the PGR’s case identification number (PGR/SIEDO/UEIDCS/112/2010) seems to indicate it was opened in 2010. The Washington Post noted that Ángeles Dauahare is now the “highest ranking military official to be linked to drug traffickers during the current [presidential] administration,”
Two days following Ángeles Dauahare’s and Dawe González’s arrests, the Mexican Army detained retired General Ricardo Escorcia, though it is not yet clear if he is being investigated for the same charges as the other generals. However, as stated by the Associated Press, the National Ministry of Defense (Secretaría Nacional de Defensa, Sedena) “did note that the detention order for Escorcia’s was issued ‘simultaneously with the two previous detentions, with the aim of having him testify in the investigations’ being carried out by civilian prosecutors.” Escorcia directed a military base in Cuernavaca–the capital of Morelos thought to be controlled by the Beltrán Leyva Organization–up until his retirement in 2010.
On May 19, retired Coronel Silvio Isidro de Jesús Hernández Soto became the fourth official arrested this week with possible connections to the Beltrán Leyva Organization. Hernández Soto, who retired in 2002 from the service, is being held by the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime (Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada, SIEDO) while the investigations continue.
Mexico is notorious for its high levels of corruption among authorities. Just in February, the PGR announced that an investigation led to the discovery that a military general was on the payroll for the Zetas organization. Even worse, Mexican drug czar General Jesús Gutierrez Rebollo was arrested in 1997 for connections to drug kingpin Amado Carrillo Fuentes, which was a serious step back for anti-narcotics efforts in Mexico to have the top drug enforcement officer colluding with cartel leaders.