Wednesday, October 22, 2014

México: Execution of Mexican Civilians by Mexican Army Could Become an Impending National Crisis

According to The Latin American Tribuneeight Mexican soldiers executed 15 of the 22 civilians who were killed in a violent incident in the central state of Tlatlaya last June 2014, according to a report published by the Mexican National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).

The events in Tlatlaya feature one of the worst human rights violations on the part of the Mexican Army, said CNDH president Raúl Plascencia after presenting the report on Tuesday.

According to the official version of the case, on June 30 a military patrol in Tlatlaya clashed with an organized crime group which left 22 civilians dead.

Raúl Plascencia revealed that according to the final investigation, it was confirmed that 15 of the victims were killed by eight soldiers in a storehouse.

In a lengthy report with statements from three survivors, the CNDH acknowledged that 12 of the alleged suspects who had surrendered and three others who were wounded were killed by the military.

COMMENT: It also said that authorities altered the site of the incident in an effort to create the impression that a gunfight had occurred, even providing the Commission staged photographs that created the impression that an execution never occurred. 

The Commission issued a recommendation to the Secretariat of National Defense, to the Office of the Attorney General and to the government of the state of México that includes caring for the victims’ families, preparing all military personnel to comply with protocols in such cases and investigating and prosecuting all those involved.

The Attorney General thus far has accused three soldiers of homicide and another for concealment of eight of the 22 civilian deaths.

Mexican Prosecutor Jesús Murillo described the killings as a very serious crime and classified it as homicide, although he said that it was still an open investigation and more people could be charged.

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