MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican prosecutors on Friday charged 14 federal police officers with trying to kill two CIA officers and a Mexican navy captain in an August ambush south of the capital.
The announcement by the Attorney General's Office did not state a motive for the attack, but said the officers have been charged with attempted homicide and damage to property.
The police officers were off duty and driving private vehicles when they opened fire, shooting 152 times at the U.S. Embassy vehicle, which was carrying the CIA officers and navy captain to a military training camp, the prosecutor's office said.
The U.S. vehicle tried to escape and more vehicles joined the aggressors in the chase as they continuously shot the diplomatic vehicle. The two CIA men were wounded, but survived. The Navy captain was not injured.
Prosecutors say the attackers changed into uniforms and arrived in police patrol cars when they were questioned.
The statement said the fact that the vehicle was armored helped the men survive.
Homicide and attempted homicide charges are usually state crimes in Mexico, but an official with the Attorney General's Office said this was a more serious case because the suspects were federal police. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
The Mexican officers have spent nearly 80 days in a form of house arrest Mexico uses in organized crime cases.
Mexican authorities initially said the attack was probably an accident by well-intentioned officers who thought they were shooting at criminals. Later, U.S. and Mexican officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said they were leaning toward the idea that it was a targeted attack masterminded by a drug cartel.
Since then, Attorney General Marisela Morales has acknowledged her office was investigating whether organized crime was behind the attack.
Adriana Gomez Licon is on Twitter http://twitter.com/agomezlicon