Mexican authorities have announced the detainment of 158 police officers for allegedly protecting and sharing information with cartels. The Mexican War has claimed over 60,000 lives, by most estimates, since 2006 — as organized crime syndicates known as cartels fight each other for territory. The corruption of Mexican police and other authorities with the cartels is believed to run rampant, with any leader or official who challenges them meeting certain death.
The detainment of the officers comes just months after Durango authorities reportedly fired an additional 145 officers for similar reasons. There have been reports that the Sinoloa cartel has begun engaging in a brutal rampage of robberies in an effort to pressure authorities to reinstate some of the detained officers.
The State of Durango is believed to be predominantly controlled by the Sinaloa cartel, a group who’s footprints are beginning to show up among advocates who help human trafficking victims in the US.
The AP reports that soldiers and state police are now patrolling the region due to the loss of such a significant number of law enforcement personnel. They also report the murder rate has doubled in Durango due to the Los Zetas cartel attempting to move into the mountainous region and challenge the Sinoloa cartel’s dominance.