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  • Police guard outside the town hall after a shooting between federal forces and armed civilians in the town of Apatzingan, Michoacan Jan. 6, 2015.

    Police guard outside the town hall after a shooting between federal forces and armed civilians in the town of Apatzingan, Michoacan Jan. 6, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 May 2015

In Mexico, it is not uncommon that police officers do the dirty work for drug cartels or for political figures, as is the case of the Ayotzinapa students.

At least 23 municipal police in the violence-stricken state of Michoacan are being investigated due to their alleged involvement in the recent homicide of a mayoral candidate and former leader of a self-defense group, officials reported on Tuesday.

The state's Attorney General's office said that 23 police officers of Yurecuaro and a civilian were being investigated in the homicide case of Enrique Hernandez, who was shot last week as he finished a campaign rally ahead of the June 7 local elections.

Hernandez was the mayoral candidate for the new party National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), which was founded by former PRD leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador after he lost his presidential bid against Enrique Peña Nieto in 2012.

“In total, 24 people have been called to render testimonies regarding the incident in Yurecuaro. Among those summoned are 23 municipal police officers,” the office added.

On May 14, Hernandez had just finished his campaign rally and was head toward his vehicle when a group of armed men opened fire and killed him and injured at least three other people.

A week earlier, the mayoral candidate of Chilapa, Guerrero was shot dead. On Monday, 30 people were forcibly disappeared from Chilapa, which is about 100 miles south of Iguala, where in September, the 43 Ayotzinapa students were forcibly disappeared by municipal police and allegedly handed over to gang members of the drug cartel Guerreros Unidos or United Warriors.

RELATED: Justice for Ayotzinapa

Guerrero has the highest murder rate of Mexico with 59 out of 100,000 inhabitants are murdered each year.

The June 7 local elections in Mexico have been marred by violence, as at least four candidates have been killed and three others have been kidnapped.

 

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