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Victim Had Accused Officials

SATURDAY, JAN. 20, 1996

A lawyer slain execution-style in a restaurant this week had accused this northern state’s attorney general of drug ties, it was reported Friday,

The newspaper El Norte reported attorney Leopoldo del Real Ibanez wrote a letter alleging state officials tried to shake him down for $500,000 and that Attorney General David Cantu Diaz was the subject of a drug probe.

“Yes, the letter exists. It was sent. But you have to remember the moral character of the person who sent it,” an angry Cantu told reporters.

State officials were already on the defensive after a secret team of federal agents arrested alleged drug trafficking kingpin Juan Garcia Abrego on Sunday.

The arrest revealed that one of Mexico’s most-wanted men had been living peacefully on the outskirts of Monterrey, the Nuevo Leon state capital, for at least two years.

It was not immediately clear if Cantu knew about the letter before the Wednesday night slaying of del Real during a dinner with state Judicial Police Chief Fernando Garza Guzman.

On Friday night, Cantu announced the police chief was put on an “indefinite unpaid leave of absence” to help in the murder investigation.

Tags: murder

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