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Monday February 8th, 2016 4:20PM

Mexican agents may have missed US vehicle's plates

By The Associated Press
MEXICO CITY - A Mexican official said Monday that federal police involved in the shooting of two American agents in August may not have noticed the diplomatic plates on the U.S. vehicle. <br /> <br /> The official said federal police were looking for kidnappers who abducted an employee of the government archaeological agency a day earlier in the same area where the Aug. 24 shooting occurred. <br /> <br /> The official said police focused on the unusual sight of a bulletproof sport utility vehicle traveling at high speed on a rural road, not on the car's distinctive diplomatic plates. The official was not authorized to be quoted by name. <br /> <br /> The kidnappers later released the employee of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, who was found by police walking on a roadside in the area just south of Mexico City. The U.S. agents, identified by Mexican officials as employees of the CIA, suffered non-life-threatening wounds. They have returned to the United States. <br /> <br /> Twelve Mexican federal police have been detained in the case and are being held under a form of house arrest pending possible charges. <br /> <br /> The federal Public Safety Department said it has cooperated in the investigation and that 51 officers of the federal police have testified in the case. <br /> <br /> ``If the use of excessive force, a failure to apply standard protocols or involvement with organized crime is proved, the appropriate punishments will be applied,'' the department said in a statement. ``No illegal act will be tolerated.'' <br /> <br /> The department said that, since the current administration took office in December 2006, a total of 459 federal police officers have been detained for varied offenses, and 50 have been sentenced. It did not detail the criminal charges involved in those cases. <br /> <br /> In the same period, about 2,045 officers have failed periodic vetting and anti-drug tests, and 302 of them have been fired. About 600 others are involved in the lengthy internal-affairs procedure, which could lead to people losing their jobs. <br /> <br /> The federal police currently has a total force of about 36,000 officers.
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