Police find 7 bodies in northern Mexico

December 28, 2011 - 12:51 AM

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — Police in the northern Mexico state of Nuevo Leon said Tuesday that information provided by arrested members of a kidnapping gang has led them to at least seven bodies found buried in shallow graves or dumped in a well.

By nightfall, Nuevo Leon state police had found seven sets of human remains around the cities of Linares and Montemorelos, near the border with Tamaulipas state. Four bodies were found burned or half-buried, and three others had apparently been thrown down a well.

A Nuevo Leon state detective who was not authorized to be quoted by name said information from a band of five kidnappers detained over the weekend by soldiers led police to the bodies.

The soldiers detained the gang after a woman's relatives alerted a passing army patrol that she was being kidnapped.

Nuevo Leon security spokesman Jorge Domene said the gang worked for the Zetas drug cartel.

Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon have been the scene of bloody turf battles between the Zetas and the Gulf cartel.

Also Tuesday, federal prosecutors announced that a former high-ranking federal police official has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for helping the Sinaloa drug cartel.

The case of former regional police security coordinator Javier Herrera Valles had been a scandal and for some a cause celebre, in part because he was arrested after having publicly accused some of his superiors of corruption or incompetence.

The Attorney General's Office said in a statement Tuesday that Herrera Valles had been convicted of organized crime charges for aiding the Sinaloa drug cartel, Mexico's most powerful gang.

He was arrested in 2008, around the same time Mexico arrested a number of high-ranking officials for collaborating with drug cartels.