Ocampo, MEXICO – The entire police force in the Mexican town of Ocampo was arrested by state authorities early on Sunday morning.
The Secretary of Public Security for the Mexican state of Michoacan ordered the sunrise operation that took 28 police officers into custody on June 24, after a failed attempt to arrest the police chief a day earlier, El Universal reported.
On Saturday, the state police attempted to detain Ocampo Police Director Oscar Gonzalez Garcia on suspicion that he was involved in the assassination of a mayoral candidate who was fatally shot, Telesur reported.
Ocampo mayoral candidate Fernando Angeles Juarez and his wife were gunned down on the campaign trail ahead of the upcoming July 1 election, as they left a Michoacan hotel on June 21.
The state’s attempt to take the police director into custody was thwarted by all 27 of his officers, according to Telesur.
El Universal reported that sources inside the state security agency said Public Security Director Venancio Colin was “chased out in a hail of bullets by no more than 16 Ocampo cops” when the arrest was first attempted on June 23.
Feeling the sting from the prior day’s humiliation, Sunday’s raid targeted the entire police force. All 28 officers, including Director Garcia, were arrested and stripped of their weapons, Telesur reported.
Telesur reported that the entire municipal police force was held for questioning by Director Colin, according to a statement released by state authorities.
“The Secretary of Public Security (SSP) reports that all elements of the Municipal Police of Ocampo [have been] detained for an internal investigation as part of the institution’s oversight of police behavior,” the statement read.
There has been a rash of what Telesur called “political homicides” in Mexico in the months leading up to July’s state elections.
The magnitude of the arrest of the entire Ocampo police department was heightened by the fact that there have been very few arrests thus far in any of the fatal attacks on political candidates.
There have been 121 political killings in Mexico since September of 2017, Telesur reported.