3 Officers Among 4 Decapitated in Mexico

Times Staff Writer

Mexican authorities discovered the decapitated bodies of three police officers and a fourth man Wednesday near an empty lot in the seaside town of Rosarito Beach, about 15 miles south of the border.

The officers had gone missing Tuesday after responding to a report of a kidnapping. Witnesses said that the officers were intercepted by about 100 heavily armed, masked men dressed as Mexican federal agents, said a spokesman for the Baja California state attorney general’s office.

The men’s bodies showed signs of torture. Their heads were found in Tijuana, several miles away. Authorities said the men were the victims of an organized crime hit, the latest in a string of killings or attempted killings of law enforcement officials in Baja California.


Rosarito Beach, a popular weekend destination for Southern Californians, is also a heavily contested transshipment point for drug traffickers.

One of the victims -- Benjamin Fabian Ventura, was the bodyguard of Rosarito Beach’s former police chief, Carlos Bowser Miret, who was killed in an ambush slaying last year.

The other dead police officers are Jesus Hernandez Ballesteros and Ismael Arellano Torres. The fourth man was not identified.