Namesake, mugshot mix-up lands Mexico cop in murder line-up

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 18, 2012 2:46 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - What's in a name? A stunned Mexican policeman found himself drafted into a murder investigation identity parade after a police database confused his mugshot with his namesake - a suspected killer.

To make matters worse, a policeman from a different precinct then said he recognized the mugshot as that of "El Pelon," a main suspect in the killing of a prominent politician's son - until he saw him in the line-up and realized his error.

"They kept saying: you're the guy, you're the Pelon," Carlos Eduardo Flores, the police officer from Monclova, about 190 miles south of the town of Ciudad Acuna where the killing took place, told newspaper Reforma.

Fortunately for him he had a solid alibi and was quickly exonerated.

"The state prosecutor says 'sorry,'" Jesus Carranza of the Coahuila state attorney general's office said.

Mexico's police have been plagued by damaging allegations and convictions of corruption, bribe-taking and murder amid a surge in drug-related violence that has killed some 60,000 people since 2006.

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Simon Gardner and Maureen Bavdek)