The U.S. Embassy and the CIA declined to comment Friday, and the Mexican government refused to elaborate on the incident beyond the statement.
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In one of her only remarks on the attack, Attorney General Marisela Morales appealed Sept. 21 for international help in analyzing videos of scenes related to the ambush.
“We’re asking for help on technologies that we don’t have in the country,” she said. A spokesman later clarified that video obtained during the attack was of poor quality, making it difficult to discern the license plate numbers of vehicles the police used.
A lawyer said the 14 federal officers were taken Thursday night from a holding facility in central Mexico City to an airport, where they reportedly were flown to a distant federal penitentiary.
“We don’t have any official information about where they were transferred,” attorney Enrique Rustic Mondragon told the newspaper Excelsior.
Mondragon repeated a defense claim that the attack was the result of confusion, and that the federal officers had ordered the American SUV to halt before firing at it.
A handful of other lawyers and family members of the accused officers refused repeatedly over several weeks to speak to a McClatchy reporter about the case as they milled about near the holding facility in the capital.
Whether prosecutors think that a major criminal gang had compromised the heavily armed Federal Police unit, which operates from the Tlalpan station in the capital, is still unclear. President Felipe Calderon has expanded the Federal Police to serve as a major force against organized crime.
How much the ambush damaged the increasingly close cooperation between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials in fighting crime also is unclear.
In an earlier case that marred the image of the Federal Police, officers shot dead three of their comrades June 25 in the food court of Mexico City’s international airport. The officers were arriving to probe a drug-smuggling ring. Two officers remain at large from the attack. In late August, all 348 Federal Police providing security at the airport were replaced with other officers who’d passed background checks and drug and psychological evaluations.