03/12/12 – New information released by the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) indicates that a “network of protection” (red de protección) was uncovered in the northern border state of Coahuila. According to El Universal, Federal Police (Policía Federal, PF) and members of the Federal Agency of Investigation (Agencia Federal de Investigación, AFI) accepted between 60,000 and 1.7 million Mexican pesos per month in exchange for allowing the notoriously brutal drug cartel Los Zetas to operate throughout the region. To date, the PGR has identified 11 current and former public servants of Coahuila that formed part of the Zetas’ security network. Four individuals have already been arrested, and four are being held in “arraigo,” while the other three are still at large.
The network of agents aided in “cleaning the streets” for the Zetas, which consisted of helping to kidnap and target members of rival groups. In addition, the Zetas were informed of government and public security operations intended to combat their organization’s drug smuggling and trading efforts. As a result of the bribes and police corruption, Los Zetas were able to move drugs and contraband throughout the Coahuila cities of Ciudad Acuña, Monclova, Piedras Negras, Saltillo, and Torreón with minimal police and government interference.
El Universal estimates that the public officials involved received between 60 and 600,000 pesos monthly for their services, while Milenio states that some earned up to 1.7 million pesos per month. One such individual allegedly connected to the corruption scheme is the regional chief of the Federal Agency of Investigation, Enrique González Nava, who, according to Milenio, reportedly earned 600,000 a month to “ensure his staff left the Zetas alone to do their work.”