Mexican police arrest three in killing of politician's son

MEXICO CITY Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:52pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican authorities arrested three suspects, two of them police officers, on Monday for involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Jose Eduardo Moreira, the son of a prominent politician.

Both Victor Landeros, alias "The Iguana," and Jorge Tenorio, or "The Taka," served as municipal police officers in Ciudad Acuna, the northern border town where Moreira, the son of Humberto Moreira, ex-chairman of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), was killed on October 3.

The three suspects were found in Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila state, with four different cellphones and two small arms, police said in a statement.

On the day of Moreira's murder, police said, Landeros and Tenorio tricked him into meeting them. The pair then handed Moreira over to two members of the Zetas drug cartel who took him away. His body was found a few hours later.

The third man, Roberto Barcenas, acted in an auxiliary role, providing food and accommodation to Landeros and Tenorio, the federal police said.

Mexican police are frequently implicated in violent crimes, as drug cartels infiltrate their ranks, bribing the poorly paid officers.

Roughly 60,000 people have died since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began a military offensive against the warring drug cartels in 2006.

Humberto Moreira was a critic of Calderon's tactics until he stepped down as PRI party chairman last December after a scandal over his handling of Coahuila's state finances. The state's debt ballooned under his watch.

(Reporting By Gabriel Stargardter; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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