MEXICO CITY- Three federal police officers who were moving in to arrest two fellow officers under investigation for drug trafficking were shot and killed at Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport on Monday morning.
The shooting occurred around 8:50 a.m. Monday in the airport's Terminal 2, leaving two officers dead at the scene. The third officer died while being treated at a hospital.Although cartel gunmen in Mexico have been known to wear police or military-style uniforms when carrying out contract killings, the shooters at Benito Juarez International airport had their identities confirmed as Federal Police officers thanks to surveillance camera footage throughout the terminal where the shooting took place. Federal police and eyewitnesses at first were uncertain whether or not the shootings were from one of their own or cartel gunmen who had managed to obtain police uniforms.
Two Federal Police officers assigned to the airport opened fire when officers from another unit tried to arrest them, the secretariat said.
The two officers were being investigated for their alleged links "to the activities of a drug trafficking network," the secretariat said in a statement.
"The two officers under investigation opened fire to avoid arrest when they spotted the Federal Police's Investigations Unit, killing three federal officers," the secretariat said.
The two Federal Police officers who gunned down their fellow officers have been identified and "operational and investigative units are focusing on their capture," the Public Safety Secretariat said.
The two officers have not been identified, but security cameras in the terminal recorded the incident, officials said.
An investigation conducted over several months uncovered "a network of officials from different local and federal agencies" who work at the airport and are "presumably involved in drug trafficking in the terminal area," the secretariat said.
the shooting took place shortly before 9 a.m. local time, around the food court of the airport's newest terminal, close to where vehicles drop off passengers but well outside the internal security checkpoints where workers and passengers are screened.Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport is Mexico's busiest airport, seeing more than 25 million passengers annually and is also used by cartels and human traffickers to launder money and move drugs and illegal immigrants. Last year, Mexican Federal Police said that had seized 90 kilos of cocaine while so far in 2012, 200 kilos wqere seized.
Three shots rang out at first, said witness Israel Lopez, a 23-year-old Mexico City student who had gone to the airport to see off a friend. Mr. Lopez didn't see who those shots were directed at, but then the gunfire came closer.
“We were in the food court, and some policemen came in and started shooting at another policeman who was on the floor,” Mr. Lopez said.
“We dove to the floor and covered ourselves with chairs.”
Mr. Lopez said the shooters wore blue uniforms like those of federal police who provide security at the airport. He said the shooters then ran to the parking area “as if they were pursuing somebody,” and he lost sight of them.
Eurocopter Panther Helicopter of the Mexican Marines at 2010 ceremony in Mexico City- the same type of aircraft that went missing over Michoacan last week.Carlos Sanchez photo via Airliners.netMICHOACAN- The Mexican Navy has reported that a helicopter that left the coastal city of Manzanillo in Colima state four days ago has been reported missing.
The chopper was destined for Morelia, the capital city of Michoacan, when it lost contact with ground controllers on Friday. The missing Mexican Naval aircraft's route likely would've taken it over remote terrain where the Beltran Leyva, Zetas and Caballeros Templar have been active and fighting each other for control of smuggling routes of marijuana cultivation.
In May 2011, a Mexican military MD530 reconnaissance/light attack helicopter was brought down during a raid in Michoacan where gunmen opened fire on the aircraft with a .50 rifle that was traced back the the ATF's ill-concieved Operation Fast & Furious gunwalking program.
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