Twenty-eight Mexican police held over political murder

Twenty-eight police officers in Michoacán have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Fernando Angeles Juárez. (Reuters pic)

MEXICO CITY: Twenty-eight police officers in the western Mexican state of Michoacán have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder of a candidate for mayor in the city of Ocampo, local media reported on Sunday.

State authorities issued a statement on Sunday saying all members of Ocampo’s municipal police department had been taken in for questioning by the police’s internal affairs department.

The probe focused on potential violations of the police code of conduct, the statement said, without giving more details.

Local and national media said the officers were held on suspicion of complicity in the killing of Fernando Angeles Juárez, who was running for mayor of Ocampo, which lies on the eastern fringe of Michoacán and is home to some 24,000 people.

Juárez was shot dead on Thursday. He had been competing for the centre-left Party of the Democratic Revolution, which governs the long-troubled state.

A source in the state familiar with the investigation said that the media reports about the arrests were correct. Twenty-eight police were detained in the operation, the source added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Mexico will vote for a new president on July 1 alongside hundreds of other federal, state and municipal posts.

The 2018 election campaign has been the bloodiest in Mexico’s modern history with dozens of politicians, candidates, and activists murdered by criminal groups and gangsters seeking to influence the shape of the post-electoral map.