Mexican Military Launches Investigation Into Killing Of Civilians

Mexican soldiers allegedly shot a 15-year old boy and his father at a checkpoint.
Mexican soldiers allegedly shot a 15-year old boy and his father at a checkpoint.
Mexican soldiers.

Today in Latin America

Top Story – The Mexican military has launched an investigation into the shooting death of a 15-year old boy and his father by soldiers at checkpoint in northern Mexico.

Soldiers allegedly attacked the car carrying the father and son, which they say failed to stop at the checkpoint in the state of Nuevo León. Relatives said the car had passed the convoy when the soldiers opened fire.

In the car with the father and son were the man’s wife, Patricia Castellanos, as well as their 24-year-old daughter, their son-in-law and their two grandchildren, ages 8 and 9 . They said that they were returning to Monterrey after visiting her sister in the town of Salinas Victoria.

“I don’t know how to explain the pain I’m feeling,” said Castellanos, according to The Associated Press. “Because of a mistake, they suddenly ended my son’s life and my husband’s life.”

Nuevo León has recently become a hot-spot for drug-related violence, with the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels battling the rival gang, the Zetas. Since 2006 when Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared war on the drug cartels, over 50,000 troops have been deployed nationwide.

The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) asked the government to look into the alleged abuses by soldiers, but many worry that the investigation will not be conducted as thoroughly as it would in a civilian court.

“Military justice is not the most appropriate to judge human rights violations. A military court allows troops to judge themselves, meaning the victims do not have access to an independent and impartial court,” Luis Arriaga, director of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez human rights center, told The BBC.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

  • The Los Angeles city attorney’s office has charged 33 people with misdemeanor crimes for a series of immigration protests that blocked traffic earlier this year. The city attorney’s office announced Tuesday the protesters were charged with remaining at an unlawful assembly, resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer and blocking the sidewalk or street
  • The city of Fremont’s ban on renting to and hiring undocumented immigrants has raised concerns among members of a Nebraska committee that reports to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
  • State-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos says an explosion has occurred at its Cadereyta refinery outside the northern city of Monterrey. Pemex spokesman León Mario Alzas says authorities are still trying to determine the cause, the extent of the damage and if anyone was hurt. Mexican media report that several people have died in Tuesday’s explosion, but Alzas says he cannot confirm that.
  • The bodies of three men suspected of participating in the massacre of 72 migrants last month were found by the side of a road in northern Mexico after an anonymous caller told authorities where to find the cadavers, federal officials said Monday.

Caribbean

Central America

  • Searchers on Monday pulled five more bodies from a mud-covered highway where back-to-back landslides buried bus passengers and then the people trying to save them. The deaths raised the confirmed toll from mudslides in Guatemala to 45 as torrential rains pounded the country.
  • Mexican officials said Monday they were holding six former Guatemalan soldiers suspected of links to the Zetas, a drug cartel blamed for a wave of violence and considered one of the country’s most dangerous syndicates.
  • The Honduran presidential plane made an emergency landing in the United States due to a technical failure, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo’s personal secretary Reinaldo Sánchez said on Monday. Sánchez said plane West Wind made a successful landing in the US military base of Palmerola without causing any injuries.

Andes

Southern Cone

Image: Rob Lee @ Flickr.

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