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Why did Mexican police shoot two U.S. government employees?

There’s still a lot that’s confusing about the shooting of two U.S. government employees by Mexican police last Friday: A Mexican judge ordered 12 federal police officers held for 40 days on Monday as prosecutors mull charges against them for shooting at a US embassy car and wounding two US government employees. The officers are ...

There’s still a lot that’s confusing about the shooting of two U.S. government employees by Mexican police last Friday:

A Mexican judge ordered 12 federal police officers held for 40 days on Monday as prosecutors mull charges against them for shooting at a US embassy car and wounding two US government employees.

The officers are being treated as suspects over Friday’s incident, when a sport-utility vehicle with diplomatic plates was chased by four cars south of Mexico City and hit by a hail of bullets.

"We will continue to deepen the investigation," Attorney General Marisela Morales Ibanez told reporters. "Right now we have an abuse of power."

Neither side has been extremely forthcoming with details: 

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said Monday that two U.S. government employees and a Mexican Navy captain were heading to a training facility outside the city of Cuernavaca when they were ambushed by a group of gunmen that included federal police. The Mexican government said federal police were conducting unspecified law-enforcement activities in the rural, mountainous area known for criminal activity when they came upon the car, which attempted to flee and came under fire from gunmen in four vehicles including federal police.

The embassy has not identified the two employees, whose injuries are apparently not life threatening, or explained what they were doing. Officials say they were not agents of the FBI or DEA.

The question seems to be whether this was an honest but tragic mistake or a deliberate attack by corrupt cops. The statement "a group of gunmen that included federal police" would seem to indicate the latter if true. Mexico’s ombudsman Raul Plascenia offered the seemingly contradictory statement that  the shotoing was an "extremely serious mistake by the officers, which could be an orchestrated action."

The U.S. has given nearly $270 million in anti-drug aid to Mexico’s federal police since 2008. 

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