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Saturday, 22 November 2008

Noe Ramirez Mandujano, a veteran federal prosecutor who resigned in July as head of an elite unit known as SIEDO, is charged with passing tips to the

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Noe Ramirez Mandujano, a veteran federal prosecutor who resigned in July as head of an elite unit known as SIEDO, is charged with passing tips to the Beltran Leyva gang in the western state of Sinaloa, Mexican Atty. Gen. Eduardo Medina Mora said.
Ramirez, 47, becomes the highest-ranking law enforcement official to be arrested amid a government investigation of infiltration of police agencies by drug traffickers.Five other officials from SIEDO, a division of the attorney general's office that spearheads drug investigations, already face charges of leaking intelligence to the Sinaloa group.Medina Mora said a member of the gang told authorities he paid a total of $450,000 to Ramirez as part of a monthly payoff scheme "in exchange for providing information about investigations and ongoing actions" against the Sinaloa drug smugglers.The attorney general said Ramirez had voluntarily appeared before prosecutors to answer the accusations but there was sufficient cause to detain the former official.If true, the accusation represents another serious setback to President Felipe Calderon's war on Mexican drug cartels, a centerpiece of his 2-year-old administration. Mexico is awash in drug violence, with more than 4,000 people dead this year, according to unofficial media counts.
This latest arrest, amid a government inquiry called Operation Cleanup, may demonstrate Calderon's commitment to rooting out official corruption but it also will likely further undermine public confidence in the war on drugs.

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