Monday, June 24, 2024

16 soldiers arrested in Nuevo Laredo extrajudicial killings case

Sixteen soldiers have been arrested and ordered to stand trial on charges related to the alleged murder of five men in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, last month.

Security camera footage disseminated by the media last week provided compelling evidence that soldiers executed presumed criminals they had already disarmed — and attempted to cover up their crime.

Footage of military killing civilians in Nuevo Laredo
Video footage that circulated online appears to show soldiers shooting the five men after they had already disarmed them. (Twitter)

President López Obrador said last Wednesday that it appeared there had been an “execution” on May 18 and pledged that the culprits would be punished.

The Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) said in a statement Saturday that the Military Justice Prosecutor’s Office last Thursday arrested 16 soldiers involved in the incident.

It said that a military court granted warrants for the arrest of the soldiers on charges they committed “crimes contrary to military discipline.”

A military judge ruled last Friday that the soldiers must face trial and remain in preventive detention, Sedena said. They are being held in a Mexico City military prison.

Sedena said that the arrest of the soldiers and the judge’s ruling that they must stand trial are “independent” of an investigation being carried out by the Federal Attorney General’s Office. Cases of alleged military abuses against civilians are heard in civilian courts, meaning that the soldiers could face a separate trial on murder charges in a civil proceedings.

The apparent massacre in Nuevo Laredo on May 18 occurred less than three months after soldiers killed five other apparently unarmed men in the northern border city. Federal prosecutors in April formally accused four of those soldiers of murder.

Mexico News Daily 

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