GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Mexico has replaced all 348 federal police officers in charge of security at the Mexico City International Airport, two months after three officers were shot dead in the busy terminal by colleagues allegedly involved in a drug smuggling ring.
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The Associated Press reported that the officers have been sent to different states around the country, which is in the grip of a deadly drug war that has claimed the lives of more than 55,000 people in the past six years alone.
Their replacements have been brought in from across Mexico after passing drug and psychological tests as well as background checks, Reuters reported, citing regional federal police chief Luis Cardenas.
Agence France-Presse reported that one of the officers allegedly involved in the June 25 shootout has been captured, while the other two remain at large.
The federal police officers who were shot had been trying to make a drug bust at the airport, which is the second busiest in Latin America with some 24 million passengers passing through every year. The shooters were allegedly smuggling cocaine from Peru through the terminal.
The shootout in the busy food court of the airport sent dozens of terrified passengers diving for cover under tables and highlighted the depth of corruption in the country’s security forces and the difficulty of fighting a drug war.