February 16, 2009 / 3:10 AM / in 9 years

Top Mexico drug cop charged with working for cartel

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The former head of Mexico’s special organized crime bureau has been charged with selling information to one of the country’s most powerful drug cartels, the attorney general’s office said on Sunday.

Noe Ramirez, who stepped down as chief of the SIEDO federal investigation unit in July last year, was detained in November for allegedly receiving $450,000 for passing secrets to the Sinaloa cartel, headed by Mexico’s top drug fugitive Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman.

Mexico’s police force is riddled with corruption and the arrest of the country’s top drug prosecutor has been the biggest catch so far in a sweeping probe to smoke out cops and government officials working for drug smugglers.

Two other anti-drug agents were jailed in 2008 for taking bribes of up to $500,000 from the Beltran Leyva gang, which recently split from the northern Pacific Coast Sinaloa cartel.

President Felipe Calderon’s two-year-old crackdown on drug cartels has sparked turf wars between rival gangs that led to the deaths of around 6,000 people last year.

Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz

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