Mexican president: Gov’t will act against troops who killed civilians

Mexico City, Jun 7 (EFE).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday that the soldiers caught on video putting five people up against a wall and shooting them “are under guard” and will face justice.

“They informed me and they are already acting. Apparently there was an execution and that can’t be permitted. We are not like the previous governments,” the leftist head of state said during his daily morning news conference.

“They are under guard, a group, everyone,” Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, added, without providing any details.

Univision, a Spanish-language television network in the United States, aired Tuesday a video showing Mexican soldiers killing five people in Nuevo Laredo, just across the border from Laredo, Texas, on May 18.

The troops are seen violently dragging the people out of a vehicle, forcing them up against a wall and blindfolding them before opening fire.

After the killings, the soldiers planted weapons on the bodies.

“It will be analyzed, but from the start the Defense Secretariat itself is recommending that they be prosecuted for extrajudicial execution. It is the Attorney General’s Office that is going to do its job, but there is no cover-up, because we don’t tolerate the violation of human rights,” AMLO said.

The same border city was the scene in February of the killings of five young men by soldiers, while two civilians – including a pregnant woman – died two months ago in Nuevo Laredo in a shooting involving members of the National Guard.

AMLO said that under his administration, “when there is an abuse, when there is excess, when human rights are violated, those responsible have to be punished.”

Regarding the latest incident, he said that “the process to deepen the investigation already began and they are already at the point of putting those responsible at the disposition of the appropriate authorities. Everyone who participated.”

The president described the abuses that have occurred since he took office in late 2018 as “isolated cases.”

“Before, the massacres were ordered from above, the alleged security policy that (Genaro) Garcia Luna carried out and was that of ‘kill them on the spot.’ It was war, and they finished off the wounded, and there were executions,” AMLO said.

Garcia Luna, Mexico’s public safety secretary from 2006-2012 under right-wing President Felipe Calderon, was convicted in February in US federal court on charges he took bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel.

The Calderon administration’s militarized approach to the drug war led to some 120,000 deaths. EFE ppc/dr

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