MEXICO CITY – Two men carrying a homemade bomb were arrested over the weekend near the San Lazaro Palace, the seat of Mexico’s Congress, the Federal District Public Safety Secretariat said.
Police deployed around the palace spotted three subjects acting suspiciously Sunday and ordered them to halt, the secretariat said.
Officers managed to grab two of the men, but the third subject got away.
Irvin Rivera Caballero, 33, who has a prior criminal record for robbery, and Ramon Heriberto Villegas Damasco, 43, were arrested.
Rivera had a backpack that contained “a device fashioned from a metal tube, duct tape and several wires that could be a homemade explosive,” the secretariat said.
The bomb squad took the device to a secure facility for analysis and possible detonation, the secretariat said.
One of the suspects “has admitted that he belongs to the group that plants bombs at banks in the Federal District,” the Reforma newspaper reported on its Web site.
“The device, according to members of the Task Force Group, is a 37 mm torpedo round that apparently contains tear gas and chloroacetone,” which gives off toxic fumes, the newspaper said.
The Federal District Public Safety Secretariat, however, did not comment on the report.
The two suspects were turned over to the District Attorney’s Office, which will determine the charges that will be filed against them.
Several banks were bombed last September in Mexico City, with officials blaming the attacks on an anarchist group.
The most recent attack occurred on April 25, when two fragmentation grenades were thrown at a building in the southern section of Mexico City that houses an El Bajio Bank branch.
One of the grenades failed to explode, and no one was injured in the attack, which damaged the structure, officials said.
A small bomb made from two cans of butane gas exploded April 13 at a Banamex ATM in downtown Mexico City.
The blast shattered windows and destroyed some lights, but no one was injured. EFE