We recently posted about the Mexican military’s summary execution of 22 members of a drug gang in the Mexican state of Tylatlaya. Unlike the day-to-day kidnap, torture, rape and mutilation of civilians by American-armed Mexican military members, the massacre received international attention. President Obama himself murmured disapproval, assuring reporters that the Mexican government was looking into it (even as they worked to cover it up). Thanks to some brave AP reporting, the story had legs. And now the soldiers have been arrested. Justice? Don’t hold your breath. Here’s the update via borderlandbeat.com . . .
Proceso is reporting that a lieutenant and 24 enlisted men, involved in the slaughter of Tlatlaya, were booked into the prison of the Military Camp Number 1 this morning. Of what happened in Tlatlaya, State of Mexico, on the 30th June, has been handled by the government as a clash between soldiers and members of an organized crime group, however, testimonies of survivors, and evidence have defined it as an extrajudicial execution of 22 people who were reported dead.
On Monday, President Enrique Peña Nieto, visiting New York, told the Associated Press that the matter would be investigated by the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), which would be responsible for providing information on the progress of the investigation.
However, the soldiers who took part in the action were already arrested by members of the Federal Military Judicial Police, and taken to prison.
The charges against them so far, were disobedience and breach of military duties, contained in the Code of Military Justice. However, the action does not necessarily mean the case will proceed against them. There has been an influx of world attention on the killings, and international calls for justice, so the arrests could be a part of a show of “good intention”.
Yesterday two of the women previously deemed as kidnapping victims in the incident, were arrested. No further information was given, if in light of this new development if they are now released.
Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto said “The attorney general is digging into the investigation and will be the agency responding to this issue,” Peña Nieto told The Associated Press after participating in an economic forum. He was in New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly meeting.
An AP reporter started to ask Peña Nieto for his reaction to two AP stories revealing doubts about the army’s version of the June 30 killings in southern rural Mexico, but he interrupted, saying, “I already know what your question is.” But did not add to his comment.
Sadly, it will be surprising if the public will ever know the true facts in the incident. There are several agencies involved that have already demonstrated they are not working together, nor share a common goal of attaining justice and truth.