Two top army generals in Mexico linked to traffickers

Ex-deputy defense minister who helped President Felipe Calderón in war on cartels arrested

General Tomas Angeles Dauahare, pictured here in 2007.
General Tomas Angeles Dauahare, pictured here in 2007.REUTERS

The government in Mexico on Wednesday announced the arrest of two top army generals for their alleged ties to drug traffickers and other organized crime groups.

One of those arrested was the former deputy defense minister who helped President Felipe Calderón lead the country's war against the drug cartels.

The two, retired General Tomás Ángeles Dauahare, who served as the army's second in command until 2008, and Roberto Dawe González, who led an elite unit in the state of Colima, were arrested by army soldiers on Tuesday and turned over for questioning to the nation's organized crime unit.

"The generals are providing statements because they are allegedly tied to organized crime activities," the attorney general's office said.

The arrests are the highest of any top military official since Calderón brought in the army to fight the country's drug cartels at the beginning of his term in late 2006.

Calderón named Dauahare as deputy defense minister upon taking office and the general retired in March 2008, according to a military spokesman. Both men have had long careers as top military aides in previous presidential administrations.

Some 50,000 people have died in Mexico's drug war since 2006. Violence appears to have escalated in recent weeks as Mexican voters prepare to go to the polls to select a new president on July 1.

Over the weekend, police discovered 49 headless bodies on a highway in northern Mexico.

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