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Four police officers arrested in the disappearance of three Italian men

Tecalitlán, Jalisco — Raúl Sánchez, Jalisco Prosecutor, reported that four police officers were arrested for their participation in the disappearance of the three Italians men who have been missing since January 31.

Four policemen from the municipality of Tecalitlán in the state of Jalisco were arrested Friday after confessing that they handed the three Italian men over to organized crime members on the same day their family reported them missing February 1.

“These people confess to having given them to people from organized crime in Tecalitlán,” the prosecutor said at a press conference, who did not detail which criminal group the corrupt agents collaborated with.

Salomón “N”, Emilio “N”, Fernando “N” and Lidia “N” are accused of the crime of enforced disappearance of persons and will be made available to a judge of Ciudad Guzmán, one of the main cities of southern Jalisco.

The Tecalitlán police officers were taken to Guadalajara on Wednesday to be interrogated. It was there that they confessed that they detained the three foreigners as a group of organized crime “asked them to deliver them,” he said.

The three missing Italian men are Raffaele Russo, 60, his son Antonio Russo, 25 as well as his nephew Vincenzo Cimmino, 29,who were last seen on January 31 in Tecalitlán.

The relatives filed a complaint on February 1 with the Attorney General of Jalisco, as they suspected that the police officers of that municipality were responsible for his disappearance because one of them warned them in a message that they had been detained by people in uniforms.

Sanchez confirmed that the police detained two of the foreigners near the Tecalitlán gas station and took them to the road to Jilotlán de los Dolores, as the relatives had reported.

He added that in the Tecalitlán public security directorate there is no record of the detention because the foreigners never arrived at the municipal jail since it was “part of the operation that they did in coordination and colluded with organized crime.”

The prosecutor added that Raffaele Russo, who traveled alone to the town on the morning of January 31, was arrested by the police hours before Antonio and Vincenzo, although the three were taken to the same destination, according to the statements of the police.

He confirmed that the director of the Tecalitlán police, Hugo Enrique Martínez, has not been located since Wednesday, so they do not rule out his participation in the events.

Sanchez said that they have not yet found the whereabouts of the foreigners and that the two vehicles in which they were transported have not been located either.

He reiterated that the relatives of foreigners will be informed through the Embassy of Italy in Mexico , with whom the Attorney General of Jalisco maintains the collaboration and exchange of information.