Some members of an indigenous community in southern Mexico are under investigation on suspicion they pushed a police car over a cliff, killing two officers and a civilian inside, prosecutors said Monday. A fourth man reportedly survived.
Residents of San Cristobalito in Chiapas state were angry that the officers were executing an arrest warrant for a community member accused of auto theft, state prosecutor Mario Hernandez told The Associated Press.
Hernandez said townsfolk, known as the Tzotzil Mayan Indians, took the agents hostage Sunday and demanded the government pay $4,300 for their release.
An agreement was reached, but about 200 people who were displeased with the negotiation waited for the agents to get inside their unit before pushing it off a 400-foot (120-meter) cliff.
The townsfolk involved tried to make it look like it was an accident, Hernandez said. But state investigators are looking for videos, photos and other evidence that ties specific community members to the alleged crime.
Near these central Chiapas highlands was where the federal government signed peace accords in 1995 with Zapatista rebels. Many Tzotzil Indians were part of the guerrillas.