Mexican Government Admits Killing U.S. Man Joseph Proctor

A street in the Mexican city of Acapulco.
A street in the Mexican city of Acapulco.
A street in the Mexican city of Acapulco.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — The Mexican government has admitted that soldiers killed a U.S. man outside the beach town of Acapulco and planted an AR-15 assault rifle on his body to cover-up the crime.

Three  soldiers have been charged with killing 32-year-old New York native Joseph Proctor and two are charged with planting the assault rifle in his hands and claiming falsely that he fired first.

Proctor left his girlfriend to go to a local convenience store on the night of Aug. 22 when he was allegedly shot by the soldiers. His body was found the next day inside his crashed van where he lay with multiple bullet wounds.

His mother, Donna Proctor, did not believe the story and hassled Mexico’s secretive military justice system to correct the story. After weeks of pressure from U.S. diplomats and congressmen, the Mexican Defense Department sent a document outlining the circumstances of Joseph Proctor’s murder to her through the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

“I hate the fact that he died alone and in pain and in such an unjust way,” Donna Proctor, a Queens court bailiff, said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. “I want him to be remembered as a hardworking person. He would never pick up a gun and shoot someone.”

Proctor’s killing is at least the third case this year in which soldiers have been accused of killing innocent civilians and faking evidence in cover-ups. Mexican President Felipe Calderón recently proposed a bill that would require civilian investigations in all torture, disappearance and rape cases against the military.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

Caribbean

Central America

  • Guatemala captured nearly two dozen suspected drug traffickers, automatic weapons and small planes in a country-wide sweep to crack down on Mexican cartels smuggling drugs through Central America.
  • Police seized 334 kilos of cocaine that entered Nicaragua from Costa Rica and had been hidden in a shipment of candy and toys, officials said.
  • Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli on Saturday denied information from a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable suggesting he asked the United States to help install phone taps on his political opponents, but he acknowledged a request for help against criminals and organized crime figures.

Andes

Southern Cone

Image: prayitno @ Flickr.

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