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Mexico replaces airport police after shootout

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:36 AM EDT, Mon August 20, 2012
Police stand guard at Benito Juarez International Airport after three officers were shot dead on June 25.
Police stand guard at Benito Juarez International Airport after three officers were shot dead on June 25.
  • The reshuffling comes nearly two months after three officers were killed in a shootout
  • Two suspects in the shooting, accused being tied to a drug trafficking cell, remain at large
  • Police are offering a reward for information leading to their capture

(CNN) -- Mexican authorities have replaced 348 federal police at the country's largest airport after a shootout there left three officers dead.

The officers have been moved from Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport to assignments in other states, federal police said in a statement Sunday. They were replaced by officers who went through a "double background check," the statement said.

The reshuffling comes nearly two months after a shooting sent passengers scrambling and left shattered glass on the ground near a food court at the airport.

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The shootout occurred when police were moving in to arrest fellow officers suspected of involvement in a drug trafficking ring, authorities have said.

Read: Mexican police arrest officer suspected in airport shooting

The two officers accused in the shooting, Daniel Cruz Garcia and Zeferino Morales Franco, remain at large. Authorities are offering a 3.4 million-peso ($260,000) reward for information leading to their capture.

Officials allege that Cruz and Morales opened fire on their fellow officers, who were attempting to arrest them after an investigation showed they had ties to a drug trafficking cell. Cruz and Morales told Proceso magazine last month that they had no connection with drug trafficking and were being targeted because they had threatened to denounce drug ties within airport police ranks.

Last month, Mexican authorities said they arrested the suspects' supervisor, Bogard Felipe Lugo de Leon. On Sunday, police said they had issued a 1.6 million-peso ($122,000) reward to the person who told police where to find him.

Mexico City's airport is the nation's largest and is a significant travel hub in the region. More than 27.5 million passengers traveled through the airport from March 2011 to March 2012, according to Airports Council International.

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