World

Mexico Fires 1,000 Police Officers to Weed Out Corruption

JUAREZ, MEXICO - MARCH 21:  Mexican police investigate a violent incident on March 21, 2010 in Juarez, Mexico. The border city of Juarez has been racked by violent drug related crime recently and has quickly become one of the most dangerous cities in the world. As drug cartels have been fighting over ever lucrative drug corridors along the United States border, the murder rate in Juarez has risen to 173 slayings for every 100,000 residents. President Felipe Calderon in 2009 disbanded the corrupt local police force and sent 10,000 soldiers to Juarez, but the violence has raged on. With a population of 1.3 million in Juarez, 2,600 died in drug-related violence last year and 500 so far this year, including two Americans who worked for the U.S. Consulate last weekend as they returned from a children's party.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

JUAREZ, MEXICO - MARCH 21: Mexican police investigate a violent incident on March 21, 2010 in Juarez, Mexico. The border city of Juarez has been racked by violent drug related crime recently and has quickly become one of the most dangerous cities in the world. As drug cartels have been fighting over ever lucrative drug corridors along the United States border, the murder rate in Juarez has risen to 173 slayings for every 100,000 residents. President Felipe Calderon in 2009 disbanded the corrupt local police force and sent 10,000 soldiers to Juarez, but the violence has raged on. With a population of 1.3 million in Juarez, 2,600 died in drug-related violence last year and 500 so far this year, including two Americans who worked for the U.S. Consulate last weekend as they returned from a children's party. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)  (2010 Getty Images)

With the Gulf coast state of Veracruz under siege from drug cartels, authorities are now taking aim at something else: corrupt cops.

Veracruz police chief Arturo Bermudez said 980 state agents have been dismissed in the past couple of weeks after failing lie detector and other tests. Only 27 percent in the 6,000-member force have taken the tests.

Tuesday's announcement comes four days after Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Veracruz state had been turned over to the brutal Zetas drug cartel.

The state has seen a rise in drug crimes since mid-2011. Sixty-seven people have died in two recent mass killings apparently linked to the Sinaloa cartel targeting the Zetas cartel. Calderon has deployed troops and federal police to Veracruz.

Earlier Tuesday, Mexican federal police said they detained the leader of a drug gang locked in a bloody battle for control of the Pacific resort city of Acapulco.

Christian Arturo Hernandez Tarin was detained Tuesday in the central state of Mexico, the Public Safety Department said in a statement. Police said Tarin led a gang known as "the street sweeper."

Hernandez's gang has been fighting against the local Independent Cartel of Acapulco for control of the coast city since the 2010 arrest of suspected Texas-born drug capo Edgar Valdez Villareal, known as "La Barbie."

The department said both groups broke away from Valdez's organization because they didn't like the group's new leader, sparking a wave of violence that has terrorized people in Acapulco.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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