MEXICO CITY (AP) — A mayor and four local police officers have been arrested in a western Mexican state in connection with the murder of 10 people who were killed and burned over the weekend, the state’s governor said Tuesday.
Michoacan Gov. Silvano Aureoles said in an interview with Imagen Radio Tuesday that authorities initially thought the bodies found in a pickup near a gas pipeline in Cuitzeo had been somehow related to illegal pipeline taps.
However, Aureoles said that the investigation eventually revealed that police from the town of Alvaro Obregon had detained the victims.
Speaking with Milenio television, Aureoles said that interviews “point directly to the mayor who gave the order.” Without naming the mayor, he said he and four police officers had been transported to prison.
State prosecutor Jose Martin Godoy also said in a news conference Monday night that the mayor gave the order. “After they were detained, on instructions from the mayor, the civilians were transported to a place in Alvaro Obregon where they were killed and then they took the bodies to a property in Cuitzeo where they set them on fire,” he said.
The motive appeared to be related to a rivalry over street-level drug sales, Aureoles said.
The state of Michoacan has been convulsed for years by drug violence.