03/10/11— The Mexican Ministry of Defense (SEDENA) arrested 13 soldiers at a military checkpoint for committing drug crimes and participating in organized crime while on duty. A Mexican military judge issued a formal arrest of the thirteen soldiers for transporting 928 kilograms of synthesized drug crystal and 30 kilograms of cocaine. The 13 soldiers were allegedly working with a group of civilians to traffic the drugs. Their arrests were made possible by the use of monitoring and surveillance programs.
Alfonso Duarte Mujica, Commander of the Second Military Region, said that the primary objective of organized crime groups is to buy off the Mexican army because these soldiers present the biggest obstacle when carrying out their activities. He went on to say that they have already found numerous officials involved in some way with organized crime and that many officers have been tempted.
The punishment for participating in organized crime as a member of the military is 18 years in prison, but if the member is of higher rank, such as an official, they could receive up to 60 years. General Alfonso Duarte stressed that citizens should remain confident in the army and should report any illicit encounters they may have.