Pubdate: Tue, 20 Apr 2004
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2004 San Jose Mercury News
Author: Chris Kraul


MEXICO CITY - Two top officials of the Mexican state of Morelos have
resigned amid a wide-ranging investigation into possible involvement
by police and government officials in drug trafficking.

The resignations of Secretary of State Eduardo Becerra on Monday and
Attorney General Guillermo Tenorio Avila on Saturday are the latest
events in a probe into whether state police and officials were
complicit in the movement of Colombian cocaine through the state and
on to the U.S. border.

Although the government of President Vicente Fox has made strides in
dismantling large drug-smuggling rings and arresting their leaders,
the widening Morelos case suggests that Mexico continues to be a
significant transshipment point for narcotics flowing to the American
market, experts say.

``We may be seeing in Mexico what we saw in Colombia in the mid-1990s,
the smashing of huge Medellín and Cali cartels but their replacement
by 10, 20 or 50 smaller cartels,'' said Jorge Chabat, a professor and
drug-trafficking expert at the Center for Economic Research and
Teaching in Mexico City.

Morelos is hardly unique as a state besmirched with alleged drug ties.
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