MEXICO CITY – Two army generals, including a former assistant defense secretary, were detained by anti-drug prosecutors and are being questioned for alleged links to drug traffickers, authorities said Wednesday.
Soldiers detained retired Gen. Tomas Angeles Dauahare and Gen. Roberto Dawe Gonzalez, the Attorney General's Office said in a brief statement released late Tuesday. The office gave no other details.
An official at the Attorney General's Office said the officers are being investigated for alleged links to a Mexican drug cartel, but he would not say which cartel. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to discuss the case.
President Felipe Calderon named Angeles Dauahare as assistant defense secretary in 2006. He left the post in 2008, when he retired.
Dawe Gonzalez is currently assigned to a military base in the western state of Colima.
President Felipe Calderon deployed 50,000 soldiers and other military personnel to fight organized crime shortly after taking office in December 2006.
A few senior military officers have been arrested for alleged links to drug traffickers during Mexico's long struggle to control the cartels.
Retired Gen. Juan Manuel Barragan Espinosa was detained in February for alleged links to organized crime and Gen. Manuel Moreno Avina and 29 soldiers who were under his command in the border town of Ojinaga, across the border from Presidio, Texas, are being tried on charges of torture, homicide, drug trafficking and other crimes.
In 1997, Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo was arrested when he was Mexico's drug czar. He was charged with protecting then-cocaine kingpin Amado Carrillo Fuentes.
Raul Benitez, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said having such high ranking military officials under investigation for ties to organized crime "is a blow to the army because they are generals who had top posts in the Defense Department."
More than 47,000 people have been killed in drug violence since Calderon launched his expanded offensive, according to government figures.