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

COLOMBIA / 13 NOV 2020

How do you track down a “ghost” in Colombia without raising suspicions, or get close enough to the elites and…

MEXICO / 23 MAY 2022

Mexico is seeing a rapid spike in oil theft across much of the country, with observers divided as to whether…

MEXICO / 18 DEC 2020

Lawmakers in Mexico have passed a new law that limits the power and restricts the operations of foreign law enforcement…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…