HomeNewsBriefMexico Soldiers Arrested for Involvement in Killings of 22 People
BRIEF

Mexico Soldiers Arrested for Involvement in Killings of 22 People

MEXICO / 26 SEP 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Eight military personnel have been arrested in Mexico for their involvement in a June incident that left 22 civilians dead, fueling suspicions that the supposed confrontation with alleged criminals may have actually been a massacre. Was it excessive force or an execution?

In a press release, Mexico's Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) revealed that on September 25 one officer and seven soldiers were handed over to a military court for their alleged participation in the June 30 incident, reported El Universal. All eight have been charged with breach of duty, while the officer also faces additional charges of crimes against military discipline and disobedience.

Mexico's Attorney General's Office and the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) are also carrying out separate investigations, reported Excelsior.

Sedena officials told El Universal that all 25 military personnel who were involved in the incident have been taken to a military base in Mexico City so they can testify.

InSight Crime Analysis

Although the incident remains shrouded in mystery, the recent arrests indicate that something went terribly wrong in the early hours of June 30. According to the official version of events, an army patrol stumbled across a group of armed men guarding a warehouse in the municipality of Tlatlaya in the state of Mexico (abbreviated as Edomex). The men allegedly fired on the soldiers, who shot back, killing one woman and 21 men without suffering any casualties. The soldiers also freed three women who were supposedly being held hostage at the warehouse.

Witnesses have cast this version of events into doubt, however, claiming that the individuals at the warehouse had surrendered before the army opened fire. One survivor -- one of the women who was found tied up in the warehouse -- said the soldiers altered the crime scene after the gun battle by moving several bodies.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

It remains unclear what really happened. One possibility is that the army patrol may have simply overreacted and used excessive force -- a tendency the army has previously been criticized for by human rights groups.

It is also possible that something more sinister took place, however. Mexican military officials have been accused in the past of ties to organized crime groups, making it conceivable that the army patrol in this case could have been working on behalf of a rival criminal group that paid them to kill the individuals at the warehouse. A similar incident occurred in Colombia in 2006, when members of the military that the Prosecutor General's Office initially claimed were working for drug traffickers massacred 10 police officers and one civilian informant conducting an anti-narcotics operation.

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.

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

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 14 APR 2022

government searching for solutions to prevent extinction while trying not to lose the favor of local anglers.

HOMICIDES / 7 FEB 2022

Stopping near their target, one of the criminals stays on the vehicle while the other jumps off, shoots the victim…

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / 15 JUL 2022

A recent report has shed new light on how temporary work visa programs for migrant laborers can backfire.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…