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Human Rights Groups Demand Probe

December 10, 1999

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Human rights activists demanded Thursday that the federal government investigate the Nov. 29 slaying of a police commander who had accused high-ranking immigration officials and federal police of drug trafficking and immigrant smuggling.

Jose Angel Martinez, the commander of a police task force in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco that was investigating illegal immigrant trafficking, was shot to death days after he presented a report containing his allegations to his superiors and a reporter. He belonged to Grupo Beta, Mexico’s elite immigration police force.

``We have every reason to suspect that his death was linked to his investigations of these criminal networks,″ said Fabian Venet, director of the immigrant advocacy group Sin Fronteras.

The Tabasco State Attorney general’s office last week arrested Anarcasis Peralta Moo, a man authorities said apparently had a personal conflict with Martinez. But human rights groups said Thursday they are concerned that Peralta Moo either was not working alone, or was following orders from someone else.

Before his death, Martinez not only had identified several drug- and illegal-immigrant trafficking routes in the region, but also said ``five high-ranking agents″ of the National Immigration Institute had taken part in those activities or allowed them to go on.

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