The names of people allegedly involved in Mexican corruption keep piling up. The latest: Mexico’s former acting federal police chief Gerado Garay, who is accused of collaborating with the notorious Sinaloa cartel and of stealing money in a mansion raid (see Ground Report article, Exotic cats seized in Mexican drug traffickers’ mansion). Garay became acting federal police chief earlier this year after his predecessor was assassinated.
An Interpol agent, one of Mexico’s police officials, was accused a month ago of being on the take. According to investigative journalist Anabel Hernandez, the corruption goes straight to the heart of President Calderon’s cabinet. One of the person’s named, Genaro Garcia Luna, Calderon’s secretary of public security, has allegedly taken money from criminals.
Hernandez lays some of the blame on the president himself. "If the very team he is surrounded by is infiltrated by corruption and organized crime, how could this end well?The results of the last two years reflect the profile of the terrible team he chose."
The temptations are great when you consider that the drug industry in Mexico brings in between $25 and $40 billion a year.
The numbers do not speak well for Calderon’s war on drugs. More than 4500 drug related killings have occurred in 2008 – which is twice as many as 2007. This in spite of $7 billion poured into the drug war and the deployment of more than 25,000 troops.
Back to the latest official suspected of corruption. Gerardo Garay’s was arrested on suspicion of organized crime, robbery and abuse of power, apparently ferreted out in “Operation Clean House,” a program instituted to weed out corruption.
Garay was apparently protecting the Beltran Leyva brothers, reputed drug gang leaders. He is also one of several police officials who purportedly stole money from a mansion during an October raid that led to the breakup of gang that allegedly arranged for cocaine shipments from Colombia to the Beltran Leyvas.
Garay and three federal police officers have been transferred to a federal prison.