An intelligence document leaked by a high-ranking government source shows the Mexican federal government has information linking former and current mayors in southern Mexico with the cartel splinter cell Guerreros Unidos, the same criminal gang accused of kidnapping and murdering 43 Ayotzinapa students.
The leaked document, dated Aug. 6, 2014 and titled “Special Attention Objectives,” reveals that federal authorities had been investigating Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca for "fraud and damages" long before he was accused of masterminding the kidnapping of the 43 Ayotzinapa students in September. He and his wife were captured in November.
Last October Minister of the Interior Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong told the press the government investigated Abarca in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He said there wasn't sufficient evidence to incriminate the mayor in any of the previous investigations.
Neither the attorney general’s office nor the state prosecutor in Guerrero responded to multiple inquires from Fusion about the document or the investigations it references.
The document also points to three additional and all acting mayors in Guerrero with alleged ties to the Guerreros Unidos gang.
Apaxtla Mayor Efraín Peña Damacio and Taxco Mayor Salomón Majul González did not respond to several calls and messages made by Fusion.
Chilpancingo Mayor Mario Moreno Arcos, meanwhile, allegedly has blood ties to the gang. He is identified in the document as the “cousin” of José Carlos Moreno Flores, aka “The Fever,” a Guerreros Unidos agent in the center of Guerrero and the coastal city of Acapulco.
Arcos, according to the document, has six preliminary investigations for homicide, malfeasance and other alleged crimes.
A screenshot of the leaked document listing the politicians allegedly being investigated.
When contacted by Fusion, Arcos denied Moreno Flores was his relative and said he welcomed any criminal probe, adding “[I] asked the PGR [Attorney General’s Office] to open up an investigation.”
“I am open to any necessary investigations” he said, “because, at the end of the day, I insist… I have not had, don’t have and will not have ties to organized crime.”
The leaked document suggests federal officials had been closely monitoring the state for some time, before it became an epicenter for Mexico’s narco-violence and mass graves.
Last month, pressured by rising protests and public outcry over the disappearance of the 43, President Peña Nieto announced a new security plan that seeks to replace Mexico’s municipal cops with 31 state police forces. The administration also launched a special operation: 2,000 federal forces will secure 36 municipalities in the states of Estado de México, Michoacán, Morelos and Guerrero.
The municipalities of Apaxtla and Taxco are on the recently launched federal target list but not Chilpancingo.
Carlos Loret de Mola is an award winning Mexican journalist and popular news anchor of Televisa’s “Primero Noticias.” He has served as a war correspondent in Afghanistan, Haiti, Egypt, Syria and Libya and writes for a number of news outlets on issues ranging from the drug war to international politics. Carlos has broken many influential stories about the operations that led to the capture of some of Mexico’s most wanted criminals. In 2001 he wrote the book "The Deal. Mexican economy trapped by drug trafficking." He is a frustrated chef, runner and guitar troubadour… but he keeps trying.