Tuesday, May 21, 2024

6 National Guard members arrested for Chihuahua murder

Federal authorities have arrested six members of the National Guard in connection with the murder of a woman in Delicias, Chihuahua, in September.

Yessica Silva and her husband Jaime Torres, both farmers, allegedly came under fire by the National Guard while driving home on September 8 after attending a protest against the diversion of water to the United States at La Boquilla dam.

Silva died at the scene while Torres was seriously wounded and spent two weeks in the hospital.

The National Guard announced on Twitter Tuesday morning that the federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR) had uncovered evidence that suggested that “some elements of our institution” were responsible for the attack.

As a result, six guardsmen were taken into custody, the National Guard said, adding that it had cooperated fully with the FGR.

“We reiterate that the National Guard will not tolerate abuses or the excessive use of force by its personnel,” the security force said.

The announcement of the arrests comes two days after farmers opposed to the diversion of water lifted an almost two-month-long rail blockade in the municipality of Meoqui, which borders Delicias.

The protesting farmers have submitted a document to the federal government that sets out nine demands including justice for Silva and Torres and the release of three farmers who were arrested the same day the couple was attacked.

They agreed to lift their blockade after the Chihuahua government made a commitment to support their demands.

The National Guard’s alleged murder of Silva will stain the reputation of the security force, which was created by the current federal government and officially inaugurated in June 2019.

Before its creation, President López Obrador pledged that the force would respect human rights and be like the United Nations peacekeeping forces.

He has promised to restore peace to Mexico by addressing the root causes of violence rather than subduing it with force and says that his government is putting an end to abuses committed by federal security forces.

But in addition to the alleged murder by the National Guard, both the army and the navy are accused of carrying out extrajudicial killings since López Obrador took office in December 2018.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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