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In Mexico, a judge orders the arrest of 19 former federal police officials

The arrest orders were the result of an investigation into the accounts of the previous Interior Ministry, according to Pres. Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Then Mexico City police chief Jesus Orta in February 2019. A Mexican judge has issued warrants for Orta and 18 other former federal police officials under the last government for alleged organized crime and money laundering, officials said on Aug. 12, 2020.
Then Mexico City police chief Jesus Orta in February 2019. A Mexican judge has issued warrants for Orta and 18 other former federal police officials under the last government for alleged organized crime and money laundering, officials said on Aug. 12, 2020.GDA via AP file

MEXICO CITY - A Mexican judge has issued warrants for the arrest of 19 former federal police officials under the last government, including a former chief of police for the capital, for alleged organized crime and money laundering, officials said on Tuesday.

According to three officials, former Mexico City police chief Jesús Orta and 18 others are suspected of embezzling millions of dollars during their time in the federal police under the 2012-2018 presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one official said the suspects were wanted for creating a criminal network of more than three people, defined as organized crime.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told a news conference that the arrest orders were the result of an investigation into the accounts of the previous Interior Ministry, which then controlled the federal police. He did not provide details.

Orta, who was general secretary of the federal police at the start of the Peña Nieto administration, later served as chief of police in Mexico City, the capital, under current Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum until his resignation last October.

Among the 18 others wanted is Frida Martínez, another former general secretary of federal police described in Mexican media as a protegé of Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, who was interior minister for most of Peña Nieto’s administration.

Neither Orta nor Martínez could be reached immediately for comment.

Sheinbaum is a close ally of Lopez Obrador and is a member of his political party, the leftist National Regeneration Movement, or MORENA.

Orta also held important posts in the city government under current Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard when he was mayor of Mexico City from 2006-2012, following Lopez Obrador.

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