MEXICO CITY Oct 17 Mexico has charged seven
officials, including three members of the country's
organized-crime unit, with providing information on government
raids and investigations to the country's most powerful drug
Cuitlahuac Salinas, head of the organized-crime unit, said
on Wednesday the seven were accused of passing information to
the Sinaloa cartel of Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, Mexico's
Salinas said federal and local officials were part of the
probe. One of the three accused from the organized-crime unit
had also worked at the Supreme Court, he added.
Mexico's powerful drug cartels are suspected of spending
millions of dollars a year to corrupt officials, but charges are
not common and officials are rarely convicted.
Guzman has made the Sinaloa cartel the country's most
powerful drug-trafficking organization since he escaped from
prison in a laundry van in 2001.
In July, Mexico charged three generals, two of them retired,
with having ties to cartels in what was seen as the biggest
armed forces corruption case under outgoing President Felipe
Calderon, who staked his reputation on bringing the gangs to
Salinas' comments on the corruption probe followed a report
by Mexican newspaper Reforma this week that one of the accused
officials was close to Mexican Attorney General Marisela
Salinas denied that report, saying that officials who sell
information to organized crime tended to overstate their
influence within the government.
Arrest warrants were issued on June 21 and the seven
officials have been held in different jails pending trials,
Salinas said. Until now, authorities had not made public details
of the investigation.
The former head of Mexico's organized-crime unit was jailed
in 2008, accused of taking $450,000 a month from the Sinaloa