HomeNewsBriefMexico Moves to Recharge Soldiers Absolved of Massacre
BRIEF

Mexico Moves to Recharge Soldiers Absolved of Massacre

MEXICO / 16 MAY 2016 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Mexico's Attorney General's Office is seeking to bring new charges against soldiers implicated in the June 2014 massacre of almost two dozen people after a judge recently released the remaining three suspects in the case due to lack of evidence. 

In a May 14 press release, the Attorney General's Office (Procuraduría General de la República - PGR) said it "will provide evidence" against the freed soldiers "so that they will be re-apprehended and formally processed." The PGR announced late last week that a judge from a civilian court in Mexico State had ordered the soldiers' release because of insufficient evidence against them. 

The soldiers were charged with homicide and tampering with the crime scene in relation to the June 2014 killing of 22 people in a warehouse in the town of Tlatlaya, in a remote area west of Mexico City.

The army initially said the deaths were the result of a shootout after gang suspects opened fire on soldiers. But Associated Press reporter Mark Stevenson went to the scene and published a story that contrasted sharply with the official version of events. In October 2014, Mexico's National Human Rights Commission determined the soldiers had summarily executed up to 15 of the victims.

16-05-16TlatlayaGraphicDA

InSight Crime Analysis

If the promised push to revitalize the case produces similar results as previous efforts, prosecutors will walk away empty-handed from what many believe is one of the most flagrant examples of human rights abuses by Mexico's military in recent years. Three soldiers and a lieutenant were already absolved of their involvement in the massacre in October 2015, also due to a ruling of lack of evidence. A military tribunal acquitted all seven soldiers earlier this year, although a commanding officer served a one-year prison term for disobeying orders.

The ruling is yet another blow to the credibility of judicial authorities in Mexico, which have been harshly criticized for fumbling and even obstructing the investigation into 43 students who went missing in the Pacific state of Guerrero in 2014. The disappearances quickly drew international attention, but following lengthy investigations by first the PGR and then by international experts, the case remains shrouded in uncertainty.  

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Widespread impunity for crimes -- especially those committed by military officials -- is nothing new in Mexico. Some observers, however, question whether these high-profile cases involve a more sinister element than just prosecutorial clumsiness.

"Given the well documented evidence that soldiers executed civilians in Tlatlaya, the fact that no one has been held responsible for those crimes suggests the same kind of gross incompetence, or even coverup, that has been shown in the case of the (43 students who went missing from) Ayotzinapa on the part of judicial authorities," Jose Miguel Vivanco, director of Human Rights Watch in Latin America, told the AFP.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 26 FEB 2013

Vigilante groups in Guerrero state, west Mexico, have announced plans to band together under a unified command, in an effort…

METHAMPHETAMINE / 6 NOV 2010

A Police sweep last Saturday saw the arrest of six low-level members of the Arellano Félix Organization, also known as…

INFOGRAPHICS / 19 JUL 2012

Mexico's presidential election was relatively peaceful, with only a handful of isolated attacks and threats of violence towards politicians. InSight…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…