21 top prosecutors quit as Mexico continues purge

AP News
Posted: Aug 01, 2011 8:27 PM
21 top prosecutors quit as Mexico continues purge

The top federal prosecutors in 21 of the country's 31 states and federal district have resigned, the Mexican Attorney General's Office announced Monday.

The prosecutors quit on Friday, said state office coordinator Rosa Elena Torres Davila. It was the largest mass resignation in the agency's recent history and came a week after the department had announced that 111 of its staff had been charged with crimes and 192 more fired for botching cases.

But officials did not provide any explanation for the resignations or say if they were connected to the internal purge that has been ongoing since Attorney General Marisela Morales took office in April.

"Mexico today requires that those of us performing public duties do so with complete dedication and responsibility," Morales said in a short written statement after the announcement.

Among those leaving were the top federal prosecutors for Mexico City, which is a federal district, as well as three of the country's most violent states: Durango, Tamaulipas and Sinaloa.

Federal prosecutors are key in the ongoing effort against drug trafficking and organized crime. The prosecutors who left will be replaced temporarily by their assistants.