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Police official in Mexico held in case of politician’s slain son

October 8, 2012 |  5:44 pm

MoreiraMEXICO CITY — An assistant police chief in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Acuña has been taken into custody by state authorities who suspect he was involved in the slaying of the son of a nationally known and controversial politician.

Prosecutors Monday alleged that the assistant chief, Rodolfo Castillo Montes, tricked the victim, Jose Eduardo Moreira Rodriguez, into going to a location where he was picked up by criminals who eventually killed him on Wednesday.

Moreira, 25, was the son of Humberto Moreira, the former governor of Coahuila state, where Acuña is located. Humberto Moreira later became president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, but stepped down after being embroiled in a financial scandal that began during his governorship.

The slaying of the son of one of the nation’s best-known politicians has been a major news story in Mexico in recent days.

In a statement Monday, state prosecutors said they were holding two other police officers in addition to the assistant chief on suspicion of premeditated homicide. The statement also said authorities were looking for three men who are believed to have actually carried out the killing.

The Zetas drug gang is particularly strong in Coahuila, and prosecutors are trying to determine the role of organized crime in the slaying. A recently captured alleged Zetas field commander, Salvador Alfonso Martinez Escobedo, alias the Squirrel, is being questioned about the slaying, as well as a recent prison break in the state.


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-- Richard Fausset

Photo: Jose Eduardo Moreira Rodriguez, who was found shot to death last week. He was the son of a former Mexican state governor and political party leader. Credit: Alberto Puente / Associated Press