Town's Entire Police Force Held for Investigation

More than 100 officers, the entire police force of the town of Linares, Mexico --75 miles (120 kilometers) southeast of the northern industrial city of Monterrey -- were herded into buses and driven to a nearby town, Linares Mayor Francisco Medina Quintanilla told Milenio Television on Sunday.

They are being held for investigation of possible corruption and ties to organized crime. Mexican soldiers and Nuevo Leon state police are patrolling instead.

The detention of more than 100 officers comes after a rise in kidnapping and extortion in the area. A series of investigations in other towns already has put hundreds of officers in custody.

The military action comes as Monterrey and the surrounding region have been the scene of an ongoing war between the Zetas and Golfo drug cartels.

It also follows a push to crackdown on corruption within local police forces. The Mexican Armed Forces or Federal police officers have been sent to several hotspots throughout Mexico to supplement often corrupt, intimidated or weakened local police.

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In Ciudad Juárez, a border city where thousands of federal officers have been posted, the federal Attorney General's Office announced that 10 former federal officers had been arrested and ordered to stand trial on charges of extortion, abuse of authority and drug possession, among others.

Drug-gang related violence has claimed more than 40,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when the newly inaugurated Felipe Calderón declared war on drug traffickers.

This article is based on a report by the Associated Press.

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