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Mexico Kidnap Case May Reach Top

February 10, 1998

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Top Morelos state officials may be called to testify in an investigation into possible police involvement in a kidnapping ring, Mexico’s attorney general said Monday.

Attorney General Jorge Madrazo Cuellar said the director of the Morelos State Judicial Police, who has already testified, would be called back to the witness stand ``because of new information which has arisen.″

The director, Jesus Miyazawa Alvarez, asked for an indefinite leave of absence last week. While a summons to testify does not necessarily indicate suspicion, it is often a step toward arrest.

Morelos’ state attorney general, Carlos Pereda, may also be asked to testify, Madrazo said. Miyazawa and Pereda have defended the state police force’s record on solving kidnapping cases.

Madrazo said prosecutors were preparing formal charges against Armando Martinez Salgado, the commander of the Morelos state anti-kidnapping unit, and two other officers.

The three were arrested after allegedly trying to dump a body along a road. The officers reportedly told investigators the body belonged to a suspect who died of a heart attack while in their custody.

Morelos Gov. Jorge Carrillo Olea insisted at a news conference Sunday that accusations against Pereda were baseless and said his government has captured 414 kidnapping suspects in the past three years.

Morelos is famed as a resort area for wealthy Mexicans and foreigners. It has been scarred by numerous kidnappings in recent years.

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