Mexican police allegedly used near death-squad tactics

Prosecutors in the corruption-plagued Mexican state of Veracruz say police set up units that used dirty-war, death-squad style tactics to abduct, kill and dispose of at least 15 people suspected of being drug cartel informers and drug runners.

The allegations filed last week against the former top police commanders in Veracruz show all the signs of the human rights abuses of Mexico's notorious anti-guerrilla counterinsurgency campaigns of the 1960s and 70s.

Prosecutors say that police in marked patrol cars picked up youths but never recorded their arrests. Instead they turned them over to specialized interrogation/torture squads working at the police academy itself. They were later allegedly killed and their bodies disposed of.