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Update on CIA shooting in Mexico

September 5, 2012

After a fortnight of speculation and investigation, it is still unclear why Mexican federal police opened fire on two alleged CIA agents inside a U.S. embassy vehicle in the state of Morelos last month.

Twelve policemen allegedly responsible for the attack on Friday, August 24 have been arrested and can be held for up to 40 days of questioning under Mexican law, while the two American victims – identified as CIA operatives by the New York Times and several Mexican media outlets – have returned to the United States.

According to Mexican daily Milenio, a preliminary report from the ongoing investigation indicates that there were at least 15 plainclothes policemen involved in the ambush. The report reveals the Toyota was hit by at least 136 bullets from AR-15 and AK-47 assault rifles. The latter is not a standard-issue police weapon in Mexico and is more commonly used by drug gangs.

The federal police officers involved were investigating a kidnapping that occurred in the area just hours before the shooting, according to Luis Cardenas Palomino, regional security chief of the federal police. But this does not explain why they would choose to open fire on a vehicle with diplomatic plates, especially if there was a possibility that the victim of a kidnapping were inside.

The two Americans were named last week by Noticias MVS as Jess Hoods Garner and Stan Dove Boss, retired military officials who now work as private contractors providing training in countries with high levels of violence, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. government has not confirmed their identities, nor whether they were indeed working for the CIA. On the night of the attack the U.S. embassy in Mexico issued a short statement acknowledging the day’s events, but there has been no official comment from Washington on the case.

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