Sunday, June 16, 2024

No protection for witness of alleged police massacre: rights group

The Nuevo Laredo Human Rights Committee (CDHNL) is accusing authorities of failing to offer protection to a key witness of an alleged massacre by police on September 5.

Identified as Ramón, the witness has spoken to the National Human Rights Commission but fears retaliation from Tamaulipas state police, according to CDHNL president Raymundo Ramos, who said on Friday that arrangements have been made to transfer the man to the United States.

“Emotionally, he’s in a very bad state, he gets very scared, very worried every time he sees a state police officer, and he has no protection,” Ramos said in an interview with Grupo Fórmula. “He has already been interviewed by the National Human Rights Commission, he already gave his testimony, and we’re looking into ways to protect him, so that he doesn’t become the victim of retaliation.”

The murders occurred in the Valles de Anáhuac neighborhood of Nuevo Laredo where police say they killed five men and three women in a shootout. However, witness testimony and video evidence gathered by the CDHNL suggests the victims were shot execution-style after having been arrested, and that police manipulated the scene to support their claim that there had been a battle.

Tamaulipas Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca announced on Twitter that state Attorney General’s Office is looking into the incident, and will request assistance from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also said that the officers implicated have been suspended, and will face criminal penalties if they are found to have committed extrajudicial killings.

In his morning press conference on Thursday, President López Obrador promised that the federal government will support the investigation into the incident.

“Prosecutors are conducting an investigation, and we will help them with everything,” he said. “We’re not going to allow executions or massacres of anyone, we won’t tolerate it. There will be investigations, and those responsible will be punished.”

Source: Milenio (sp)

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