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Security chief during Mexico's 'dirty war' dies

FILE - In this Wednesday Feb. 18, 2004 file photo provided by the Mexican Attorney General's office, Miguel Nazar Haro, the former head of the now-dissolved Federal Security Directorate waits to be flown to Monterrey after he was captured, in Mexico City. Nazar Haro who led Mexico's domestic spy agency and was accused of being behind the disappearances of alleged guerrillas in the 1970s has died at age 87. Cause of death has not been released. FILE - In this Wednesday Feb. 18, 2004 file photo provided by the Mexican Attorney General's office, Miguel Nazar Haro, the former head of the now-dissolved Federal Security Directorate waits to be flown to Monterrey after he was captured, in Mexico City. Nazar Haro who led Mexico's domestic spy agency and was accused of being behind the disappearances of alleged guerrillas in the 1970s has died at age 87. Cause of death has not been released. (AP Photo/PGR, File)
January 27, 2012
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MEXICO CITY—Miguel Nazar Haro, who led Mexico's domestic spy agency and was accused of being behind the disappearances of alleged leftist guerrillas in the 1970s, has died at age 87.

His son, Jose Luis Nassar Daw, confirmed on Friday that Nazar Haro died late Thursday but didn't release a cause of death.

Nazar Haro headed Mexico's now-dissolved Federal Security Directorate from 1978 to 1982 at the height of the government's "dirty war" against leftist insurgents.

He was arrested in 2004 and put under house arrest on charges stemming from the disappearances of six farmers who were alleged members of a group called the Brigada Campesina de los Lacandones, an armed group that the government linked to at least one kidnapping.

A judge dismissed all charges against Nazar Haro in 2006.

The ruling was a setback for special prosecutor Ignacio Carrillo, who had been named by then President Vicente Fox to shed light on wrongful imprisonment, torture, forced disappearances and slayings of hundreds of radical leftists and farm and union leaders during the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

The most brutal phase of the "dirty war" was President Luis Echeverria's administration from 1970 to 1976, when the government implemented a plan to get rid of guerrillas blamed for a series of kidnappings and attacks on soldiers.

During all the years of the conflict, Mexico's presidency was controlled by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which moved to crush small bands of guerrillas seeking its overthrow. The PRI held the presidency for 71 years without interruption before losing the 2000 election to Fox, the candidate of the conservative National Action Party.

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