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Policeman Arrested in Mexico Murder

April 10, 2001

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ A police supervisor in Mexico City was arrested on suspicion of killing a neighborhood anti-crime activist, authorities said.

Jose Roberto Ortega y Villasenor, who headed a mounted police unit, was arrested Monday in connection with the killing of Bernarda Paula Jasso, whose shot and stabbed body was discovered on April 1. Ortega was being held Tuesday in Mexico City’s eastern prison.

Jasso was a leader of the Primavera neighborhood committee in southern Mexico City, and had reportedly received several death threats due to her role in prompting the arrest of several local crime figures.

Neighbors said that a man in a car seemed to be shadowing Jasso the day of her death. Police traced the car to Ortega and in it found traces of blood matching Jasso’s type and food she had purchased.

Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday announced a program to fight organized crime and said neighborhood committees like Jasso’s would be encouraged to form citizens’ security councils.

Critics charge Mexico’s police with corruption and links to organized crime.

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