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9 Mexico Policemen Charged in Kidnappings, Rapes of Girls

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Prosecutors have charged nine policemen with luring three teenage girls into a squad car, holding them as prisoners at a police facility for several days and raping the two younger girls.

The girls were going to a park in downtown Mexico City last Sunday when they asked policemen in a neighborhood on the city’s southern edge for directions, local media reported.

The policemen offered to give the girls a ride but instead drove them to the horse stalls of the Tlahuac district mounted police, Mexico City Deputy Police Chief David Almada told a news conference Friday.

Two girls, ages 13 and 15, were raped there by policemen, according to prosecutors. The 18-year-old avoided being raped by locking herself in a stable.

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The girls escaped Thursday.

On Mexican radio talk shows Saturday, callers voiced their outrage at the crime, in a country where rapes are not commonly reported.

Mayor Cuauhtemoc Cardenas said: “With respect for their rights, those responsible for these acts should receive an exemplary punishment.”

The policemen face charges of rape and sexual abuse, kidnapping and abuse of authority, crimes punishable by up to 67 years in prison.

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As many as 15 other policemen may have been involved in or known about the crimes, prosecutors said.

Some newspapers praised the city government for its quick arrests of the suspects, but La Jornada asked: “How many injustices must the society suffer before the city embarks on a complete purge of its staff?”


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