* Mexican officers already in police custody
* Statement did not mention link to organized crime
By Gabriel Stargardter
MEXICO CITY, Nov 9 Mexico on Friday formally
charged 14 federal police officers with attempted murder for an
August attack on two U.S. agents, identified by sources as CIA
agents, that embarrassed the Mexican government with its
powerful northern neighbor.
Mexican security sources have placed responsibility for the
attack on corrupt police working in cahoots with drug gangs.
The Attorney General's office said it had issued arrest
warrants for the 14 federal police officers, charging them with
attempted murder and property damage for the attack which
peppered a diplomatic vehicle with 152 bullet holes.
The 14 officers come from the southern Mexico City district
of Tlalpan and were already in police custody, the statement
"The charged police officers tried to kill two employees of
the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and a Mexican Marine," the Attorney
General's office said.
Mexican officials had earlier said the fact that police
officers used AK47s and were not wearing uniforms suggested a
gang-orchestrated hit. However the statement made no mention of
any suspected link to organized crime.
Drug cartels take advantage of bad pay for Mexican police to
infiltrate their ranks.
The attack took place on a road south of Mexico City, and
was initially blamed on a case of mistaken identity. It came
when increased cooperation between U.S. and Mexican forces
seemed to be yielding results in President Felipe Calderon's
six-year offensive against the bloody cartels.
Since 2009, government troops have caught or killed more
than 20 major drug lords. However that has led to cartel
infighting and fragmentation.
Roughly 60,000 people have died in drug-related incidents
during Calderon's term, and the violence was a factor that
worked against his party's candidate in last year's presidential
President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto, who takes office on Dec.
1, stresses his priority is to reduce violence and focus first
on tackling crimes like extortion and kidnapping.
But Pena Nieto, who has led the Institutional Revolutionary
Party (PRI) back into power after a 12-year hiatus, has rejected
negotiating with the gangs, mindful of the PRI's past reputation
for cutting deals.
The CIA has declined to comment on the case, while the two
agents, who received non-life threatening injuries, were quickly
moved out of the country.