Mexico: Veracruz ex-police get 60 years for disappearance

VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) — Nine former police officers in Mexico’s Gulf coast state of Veracruz were sentenced Tuesday to 60 years in prison for forced disappearance, including a high-ranking official formerly with the state’s Public Security Department.

Many people have gone missing over the years in Veracruz. The case involves the illegal detention and disappearance of a man in June 2014 in the town of Chinameca. Prosecutors say he was “presumably tortured.”

The man was taken to a police base, then a police academy, then handed over to a special police unit known as “The Faithful.”

The unit is alleged to have carried out illegal detentions and disappearances of people during the administration of then Gov. Javier Duarte.

Duarte is currently in prison facing organized crime and corruption charges.

In southwestern Guerrero state, police in Acapulco said they killed five suspects in a running shootout around dawn.

The state police said officers came under fire from suspects traveling in a small stolen car. They gave chase, and caught up to the car in an area far from Acapulco’s beach front.

Bullets hit two police patrol vehicles but no police were injured, authorities said.