Alberto Bazbaz, an ally of the president, has been handed the top intelligence job despite leading a nine-day search for missing girl later found dead in her own bed

Mexicans have expressed incredulity at the appointment of a former prosecutor to the country’s top intelligence position, even though he once oversaw a notorious nine-day search for a missing girl who was eventually found lying dead in her own bed.

Alberto Bazbaz, a close ally of President Enrique Peña Nieto, was named on Thursday as the new head of Mexico’s intelligence agency, Cisen, at a time when the country’s authorities are struggling to contain violent crime.

Related: Mexico maelstrom: how the drug violence got so bad

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