Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mexico Asks U.S. Justice Department to Investigate Deaths of Mexicans

MEXICO CITY – The Mexican Government has asked the U.S. Justice Department to “accompany the investigation” into the deaths of three Mexicans at the hands of American police in less than a month.

In a statement issued Monday, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the recent killings of Ernesto Javier Canepa Diaz, Antonio Zambrano Montes and Ruben Garcia Villalpando all “presumably involved an excessive use of force” and hence could not be seen as isolated cases.

It urged that the Justice Department follow the investigations of these cases to “provide assurances that they are conducted with transparency, and, if necessary, that civil and criminal responsibilities are established.”

“In these three unfortunate cases, the Mexican Government will use all available resources to ensure the protection of the victims’ families so that they have complete access to justice in accordance with the applicable laws,” the Ministry declared.

“At the same time, Mexico joins several civil society organizations in their urgent call to move forward the review of use of force policies and practices,” it continued.

The Mexican government strongly condemned the killing last Friday of Canepa Diaz by the California’s Santa Ana police, an incident that it said was “deeply troubling and causes us great concern.”

The Mexican consul in Santa Ana had written to the local police department and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, expressing his deep concern for what had occurred and asked for an in-depth investigation and measures to prevent more such incidents, the statement added.

The Ministry said that it had met with Canepa Diaz’s family and lawyer on Sunday and offered any assistance needed, including “close support throughout the investigation process and legal representation.”

In addition to regular diplomatic channels, the Mexican Government has also asked MCRAG (a consultative group for civil rights of Mexicans in the U.S.) to explore legal responses to such incidents.

It also asked the organization to suggest strategies to raise public awareness on the need for a review of the policies and practices regarding use of force by the polic

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