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Prosecutors Unable To Tie Tijuana Police To Organized Crime

Blanca Messina, 26, has become the de-facto spokeswoman for the families of three dozen Tijuana policemen who claim they were tortured by the police chief and Mexican soldiers.
Leonardo Ortiz Soto, TijuanaPress.com
Blanca Messina, 26, has become the de-facto spokeswoman for the families of three dozen Tijuana policemen who claim they were tortured by the police chief and Mexican soldiers.
Prosecutors Unable To Tie Tijuana Police To Organized Crime
Thirteen Tijuana police officers detained a year-and-a-half ago for their alleged ties to organized crime have been freed. They were arrested as part of an unprecedented crack down on police corruption.

Thirteen Tijuana police officers detained a year-and-a-half ago for their alleged ties to organized crime have been freed. They were arrested as part of an unprecedented crack down on police corruption. Prosecutors could not find evidence against them.

The 13 police officers are part of a group of 25 who were summoned to Tijuana's military base in March 2009.

All say they were tortured so they'd confess their alleged ties to drug cartels.

They've been held in jail in southern Mexico ever since. Over the weekend, 13 of the 25 were freed.

Blanca Messina's father was one of them. He'd been a policeman in Tijuana for more than 20 years. "The battle continues to free the other dozen officers. But with her dad, it was pure happiness and screams of joy."

Blanca received death threats for championing her dad's and the others' cases and for helping take their torture complaints to the Western Hemisphere's highest human rights court. That investigation continues.

Meanwhile, last week, five civilians accused Tijuana's police chief of civil rights violations and torture.

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