Just two of some 1,600 police officers investigated after the army raided police stations in five border cities last week are being subjected to “a criminal process,” the Tamaulipas state government said. Most of the officers were back on the job Saturday. The fate of the two officers was unclear Saturday as city, state and federal authorities were unable to confirm where they were from, if they were under arrest, and what charges, if any, they faced.
Tuesday’s coordinated dawn raids by troops and federal agents kept most city police off the streets for days in Matamoros, Reynosa, Ciudad Alemán, Río Bravo and Nuevo Laredo. Soldiers took away police firearms, grounded patrol vehicles and checked radios and personal effects.
But so far, the investigation has brought meager results.
Fourteen officers in Río Bravo, southwest of Weslaco, were arrested because their police radios were not tuned to the authorized frequency, but were released on Friday, said Tamaulipas state and city officials.
“No crime was proven against them,” city spokeswoman Gloria Treviño said.
The raids followed the arrests days earlier of four Nuevo Laredo officers on suspicion of radioing information on military and federal operations to drug traffickers.
Police officers Saturday still didn’t have their firearms returned to them in Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa, according to officials for the two larger cities subjected to the military operation.
Reynosa’s 540 officers were expected to have their firearms back on Saturday, “or (today) at the latest,” said Joel Martínez, a city spokesman.
Officials for Tamaulipas, which borders Texas from Laredo to the Gulf of Mexico, said the army began returning firearms to some police departments Friday.
Mexico’s National Defense Ministry, which runs the army, has had no comment on the operation since it began.
Sean Mattson – Express News