Sunday, August 8, 2010
Hundreds of Mexican federal police officers from two opposing groups clashed in Ciudad Juarez over allegations of corruption within their ranks
A three-day protest turned into a riot between two opposing groups of the federal police department. The confrontation was triggered by corruption allegations against federal police Cmdr. Salomon Alarcon Romero. Alarcon's critics say the commander has participated in kidnappings, killings and extortion in Juarez, which borders El Paso, Texas. The protest started after the arrest of an officer who critics say was falsely accused for drug crimes. Local media said about 200 heavily armed officers - some wearing ski masks - demonstrated in front of the La Playa hotel, which houses some federal police offices. The group denounced Alarcon and other commanders as corrupt, while calling for a full investigation by the Mexican military into Alarcon's alleged ties with drug traffickers. More than 100 supporters of Alarcon pushed back against the accusers, defending their commanders and deflecting misconduct allegations. Several police officers suffered injuries during the protest. Alarcon fled in an armored car.