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Two Veracruz police officers arrested after discovery of 13 bodies

Xalapa, Veracruz — Two former officials of the State Attorney General’s Office have been arrested and presented before a judge for their involvement in the forced disappearance of at least 13 people.

In January of 2016, 13 bodies were discovered concealed in an area known as La Barranca. According to the State Attorney’s Office, two former government officials have been arrested. The former General Director of the Expert Services, Gilberto “N” and the former Regional Delegate of the Ministerial Police Zone Xalapa Center, Carlota “N”.

Both are being investigated for their alleged involvement in hiding the bodies in the place known as La Barranca de La Aurora in the municipality of Emiliano Zapata, Veracruz.

Witnesses reported that La Barranca de La Aurora was a known place where they threw kidnapping victims, presumably committed by public servants of the Public Security Secretariat of the State.

In a communiqué, the State Attorney General’s Office indicated that on 19 January 2016, at least 13 people were found. However, allegedly by instructions of the two detainees, the personnel under his command only reported the finding of 6 bodies.

“Of the 13 bodies they hid, one of them was taken to the town of Santa Ana, municipality of Alto Lucero, where they faked finding the body,” the authority says.

In February 2018, a total of 19 former officials of the Ministry of Public Security in the Government of Javier Duarte were linked to the process for the alleged crime of kidnapping of 16 people.

Among those linked to the process is the former secretary of Public Security, Arturo Bermúdez Zurita, who was already in jail for illicit enrichment.

The attorney general’s office reported that one of the bodies was identified as David Lara, an element of the Ministry of Public Security who disappeared on January 12, 2016 after having been kidnapped by members of his own corporation.

The identity of the other bodies is still unknown.

In February of 2018, four police officers from Jalisco were arrested for their participation in the disappearance of  three Italian men who were reported missing January 31.