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Mexican official slain in bed after tunnel found

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Don Gabacho

Dec 6, 2007, 1:10:12 PM12/6/07
Mexican official slain in bed after tunnel found

Thursday, December 6, 2007
Los Angeles Times

SAN DIEGO -- The deputy police chief of the Mexican border town of
Tecate was gunned down in his home Tuesday morning, one day after the
discovery of a cross-border tunnel that authorities believe was used
for drug smuggling.

Jose Juan Soriano Pereira, 35, who was appointed second in command of
the force three days ago, was asleep next to his wife when gunmen
stormed the house, Mexican authorities said. Police found 45 shell
casings in the bedroom.

Soriano's wife was not hurt, officials said. The assailants are
believed to have fled down the highway toward Tijuana, about 40 miles
to the west.

It was not clear if the assault was linked to the discovery of the
tunnel, a well-constructed passage featuring lights and ventilation
that stretched more than 1,500 feet north of the border.

A U.S. Border Patrol canine unit discovered the tunnel Monday morning,
along with nearly 9 tons of marijuana inside a cargo container. The
tunnel's opening in Mexico was found by Mexican authorities Monday
afternoon in a warehouse-like building 100 yards south of the border.

A few hours later, the gunmen killed Soriano.

Soriano was considered an honest lawman, U.S. law-enforcement sources
said. Some speculate he might have been killed by smugglers in
retaliation for the discovery of the tunnel.


Dec 6, 2007, 1:21:50 PM12/6/07

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