Mexican President Felipe Calderon apologized Tuesday for the ambush and wounding- apparently at the hands of federal police officers -- of two Americans attached to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
Saying he "deeply lamented" the incident, Calderon promised U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne that Mexican prosecutors would get to the truth of Friday's attack, which until now both governments have shrouded in vagueness and secrecy. A Mexican judge Monday ordered 12 federal officers jailed for 40 days pending investigation into the attack.
"We can't permit these things to happen," Calderon said, at a forum on civic groups that work to improve Mexico's police forces and public security. "They are being fully and rigorously investigated."
Calderon chalked up the detained federal police officers' involvement either to "negligence, a lack of training or because of untrustworthiness, complicity."
The two Americans and a Mexican Navy captain were traveling together early Friday morning in an armored embassy vehicle with diplomatic license plates when they were ambushed on a country lane by plainclothes gunmen riding in unmarked civilian cars. The three had been heading to a navy training camp in the high mountains about 30 miles south of Mexico City.
Calling for help
The Americans were riding in the front seats of the vehicle, one of them driving, and were injured when rifle rounds pierced the supposed bulletproofing, the Mexican navy said in a statement Tuesday. The navy captain, working as the Americans' translator, was in the back seat frantically calling for reinforcements during the attack, the statement said.
Mexican officials have said the federal officers became involved during the chase but have not explained when, where, how or why. Eyewitnesses told the Chronicle that they neither saw uniformed federal officers nor marked police cars during the shooting.
Reporter Stewart Powell contributed to this report.
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