MEXICO CITY — Mexico has charged four federal police commanders with ordering agents to lie about their role in an August 24 attack on a vehicle with diplomatic plates that wounded two U.S. government employees.
The office of Mexico's attorney general accused the commanders, along with another previously identified commander, with making "false statements" relating to the attack by 14 police officers on a U.S. Embassy car that wounded the Americans and a Mexican navy captain.
The three men were traveling to a military training facility south of Mexico City when their armored sport-utility vehicle was riddled with 152 bullets, prosecutors say.
The police officers were wearing civilian clothes and driving privately owned cars when they shot at the embassy SUV, then changed into uniform and climbed into patrol cars before investigators arrived, prosecutors say.
Juan Manuel Pacheco Salgado, a police inspector general, was arrested in the case on November 13 but released on bail.
The four other police commanders, who have not been identified, will not be jailed despite arrest warrants because of habeas corpus motions, a source close to the government told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Victoria Pacheco with the attorney general's office said Sunday that the 14 agents, who are jailed on homicide charges, stated that their bosses had ordered them to lie to investigators about the case.
According to the prosecution, the policemen first said they were in civilian clothes traveling in privately-owned cars, but a few hours later when they gave a formal statement, they said they were wearing uniforms and driving patrol cars.
Prosecutors claim that the five police commanders ordered the officers to change clothes and switch vehicles.
Mexican police at first said the attack might have been a mistake because the agents were investigating a kidnapping. However prosecutors suspected that some of the officers may be working organized crime.
The two Americans, who were identified as CIA agents by Mexican and American media, left the country shortly after the shooting. The U.S. government has refused to say where the two men worked.
© AFP 2013