Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mexican Soldiers Involved in Massacre Go Unpunished, Eyewitness Says

MEXICO CITY – One of the survivors of a 2014 massacre carried out by Mexican army troops in the city of Tlatlaya that left 22 civilians dead said she was afraid following the release of three of the soldiers last weekend.

Clara Gomez’s daughter, Erika, was one of the people killed on June 30, 2014, at a warehouse in Tlatlaya, a city in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area.

Gomez told Radio Formula that the soldiers’ release for lack of evidence made her feel “afraid that they might do something.”

“The government hasn’t done anything in two years” and the case “is going unpunished,” Gomez said.

The Defense Secretariat initially claimed that 22 suspected criminals died in a shootout with army troops.

Gomez, however, told investigators that only one person died in the shootout and the rest had been questioned and killed by soldiers.

Authorities arrested seven soldiers, who faced trial in civilian and military courts.

Prosecutors allege that 14 people died in the shootout and the other eight, some of whom were wounded, were killed by soldiers.

The National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, concluded that the number of people executed was actually 15.

The Attorney General’s Office said over the weekend that it would provide the court additional evidence showing that the soldiers were responsible for the massacre and opening the way for new arrests.

Four other soldiers linked to the massacre were released from prison last October due to lack of evidence, a ruling that was immediately appealed by the AG’s office.

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