Eight Mexican Soldiers Face Trial for Alleged Massacre in Tlatlaya

EspañolIn the wake of the controversy surrounding the Tlatlaya killings, eight Mexican soldiers will face trial. On Tuesday, Mexico’s attorney general placed homicide charges on three soldiers involved, to be tried in civil court, and all will face military court for defying military code.

On June 30, in Tlatlaya state, an armed confrontation between the military and alleged gang members from the Michoacán Family cartel occurred. While the officers insist they acted in self-defense, conflicting accounts of the story soon surfaced, including testimony from a witness who claims the soldiers massacred the 22 victims. Many other sources affirmed that this was not a battle but a massacre.

On September 19, Mexico State Governor Eruviel Ávila claimed that the Mexican military acted in self defense. But Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam explained that the Secretariat of National Defense detected inconsistencies in the official account of the incident, and began a series of investigations to put three of the soldiers on trial for murder crimes and use of “excessive force.”

UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns also urged President Enrique Peña Nieto to investigate the matter to determine whether the 22 deaths were a result of a military confrontation or murder.

These investigations have thus far revealed that a confrontation occurred on June 30, involving armed militia and lasting eight to 10 minutes. After the initial confrontation, three of the soldiers entered a warehouse, where another round of shots were fired without justification.

Last month, Amnesty International released a report stating that human-rights violations by security forces have reached alarming levels in Mexico.

Source: El Universal (Mexico).

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