MEXICO CITY – Retired Mexican Gen. Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro, who was convicted of drug-gang ties a decade ago but subsequently exonerated, has died of wounds suffered in a gunshot attack, sources with the capital’s district attorney’s office said.
The Mexican Red Cross later issued a statement confirming the retired general’s death.
It said it received a call for an ambulance Friday afternoon to attend to a gunshot victim at the intersection of Lago Como and Lago Trasimeno in the capital’s Anahuac neighborhood.
A Red Cross ambulance arrived at the scene seven minutes later and found a wounded individual lying on the pavement, the statement said, adding that paramedics administered first aid and tried to rush him to the Mexican Red Cross Central Hospital.
The victim’s documents identified him as Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro, the institution said.
However, according to the Red Cross, the man died while en route to the hospital as a consequence of gunshot wounds to the head.
The capital’s district attorney, Jesus Rodriguez Almeida, said Acosta Chaparro was shot by a gunman at close range while talking to another individual at a garage where he had gone to have his vehicle repaired.
An accomplice waiting in a nearby motorcycle then sped the assailant away from the crime scene, he added.
In May 2010, the retired general survived a gunshot attack apparently stemming from an attempted robbery.
Acosta Chaparro and the late Gen. Francisco Quiros Hermosillo were arrested in August 2000 on charges they provided protection for the Juarez drug cartel for years.
The two officers were tried, convicted and stripped of their ranks by a military court in November 2002 and served their sentences at Mexico City’s Military Camp No. 1.
Acosta Chaparro, however, was released on June 29, 2007, after a federal court threw out his conviction, citing lack of evidence linking him to drug traffickers.
The ruling allowed him to regain his rank of general.
Acosta Chaparro also was tried in connection with the massacre of 22 peasants during Mexico’s “dirty war” against leftists in the 1970s, but he was acquitted in February 2006.