MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican prosecutors said Thursday they have broken up a plot by an armed gang to assassinate two federal legislators in Mexico City.
The plan, had it succeeded, would have marked a rare attack on federal officials, who have largely escaped the drug-fueled violence that has claimed the lives of many state and local officials.
The intended victims are brothers, one a senator and one a congressman, from the north-central state of Zacatecas. Both Sen. David Monreal Avila and Congressman Ricardo Monreal Avila were warned and placed under protection once the plot was uncovered, based on intelligence information.
The armed gang was arrested Thursday at a hotel in downtown Mexico City, Assistant Attorney General Mariana Benitez told reporters. She did not specify how many were detained, what weapons they were carrying or whether they had any ties to drug gangs.
"Early today the raid was successfully carried out without violence, and apart from the individuals arrested ... guns and communication equipment with which they planned to carry out the assassinations were seized," Benitez said.
Describing the detainees' statements to police, Benitez said "they said they were in Mexico City to kill the legislators."
Benitez did not give any possible motive in the failed plot.
The brutal Zetas cartel has been fighting turf battles and engaging in leadership struggles in Zacatecas, a key trafficking route. Both Monreals are members of leftist parties, and Ricardo Monreal served as Zacatecas governor from 1998-2004.
He later served as a key campaign official for former leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in his failed bids for the presidency in 2006 and 2012.
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