Top Mexican General to be Indicted for Racketeering

Published August 01, 2012

| EFE

Retired Gen. Tomás Angeles Dauahare and five other high-ranking Mexican military officers are to be arraigned this week on drug and racketeering charges.

The exact nature of the accusations remains unclear, the general's lawyer, Ricardo Sánchez Reyes, told MVS radio on Wednesday.

Dauahare, a former deputy defense secretary, and the other officers were taken before dawn Wednesday to a maximum-security prison in the central state of Mexico.

A judge in the same state issued warrants for Dauahare, retired Maj. Gen. Ricardo Escorcia Vargas, Brig. Gen. Roberto Dawe González and retired Lt. Col. Silvio Isidro de Jesus Hernández Soto, the federal Attorney General's Office said Tuesday.

The four men have been in custody in the capital since May on suspicion of involvement in organized crime.

The judge also ordered the apprehension of Maj. Ivan Reyna Muñoz and Brig. Gen. Ruben Pérez Ramírez.

Dauahare insists he is innocent and claims the allegations came from military rivals who viewed him as an obstacle to their hopes to succeed Defense Secretary Guillermo Galvan.

"The investigation is roughly 2 1/2 years old and they have found nothing so far. It has been all false, malicious imputations, hearsay, without anything proven, a violation of my (constitutional) guarantees taken to an extreme," he said in a July 25 interview from a holding cell in the federal AG's office.

Dauahare was appointed deputy defense secretary in December 2006 by newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderón, who gave Mexico's armed forces the leading role in battling drug traffickers.

Once touted as a potential future defense chief, Dauahare was abruptly replaced as deputy secretary in 2008 - with no official explanation - and retired from the army later that year.

Until his arrest in May, Dawe González commanded an elite unit assigned to the 20th Military Zone, headquartered in the western state of Colima.

Calderón's strategy of militarizing the struggle with the cartels has been accompanied by an explosion of violence and the drug war death toll stands at more than 50,000 as the rightist president approaches the end of his six-year term.

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