Jalisco authorities investigating the disappearance of three Italian men in the town of Tecalitlan are focusing their attention on the local police force, reports suggest.
Antonio Russo, 25, Raffaele Russo, 60, and Vincenzo Cimmino, 29, all from the southern Italian metropolis of Naples, were reported missing by Francesco Russo – Raffaele’s son and Antonio’s brother – on February 1.
According to family members in Naples, the last thing they heard from their relatives before losing contact was that they were being stopped on the highway by a police vehicle and two motorcycles.
Following their initial investigations, the Jalisco Attorney General Office’s confirmed that 33 members of Tecalitlan’s municipal police force have been disarmed and confined to the barracks of the Jalisco police academy, while state officers have taken over policing in the municipality. The town’s police chief, Hugo Enrique Martinez Muñiz, is nowhere to be found, a report in Guadalajara daily Milenio said.
In a statement Thursday, Tecalitlan Mayor Victor Diaz Contreras said he was unable to confirm reports that three municipal police officers had been placed under arrest in connection with the disappearance of the Italian men.