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Police Relatives Accuse Tijuana Authorities of Overstepping Bounds

Audio

Aired 4/20/09

The head of a citizen’s watchdog group is accusing local and federal authorities of overstepping their authority in their effort to root out corruption in the local police force. The army is holding more than 20 agents for ties to organized crime. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

Authorities in Tijuana have detained dozens of police during the past few weeks for alleged ties to organized crime.

The detentions are part of a wider effort to root out corruption within the local force.

At least 15 agents are being held at an army base in Tijuana.

Their relatives protested at city hall alleging the army is violating their loved one’s human rights.

Relatives say authorities detained the agents against their will.

Though, Tijuana’s police chief counters the agents went voluntarily.

Relatives also worry soldiers are torturing agents into confession.

City officials promise to look into the matter.

The army has taken a leading role in cracking down on drug trafficking throughout Mexico during the last two years.

Human rights activists have been concerned the army isn’t trained to be in the streets and might violate human rights.

In Tijuana, Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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