A video in which the military is seen executing civilians in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, shakes the country and the fact even reached President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who acknowledged what happened and assured that "that cannot be allowed."
The footage, collected on May 18, shows how the military pulls civilians out of a pickup truck, which had just sped into a wall after a chase.
There you can see that some of the civilians carry weapons and the soldiers disarm them, kick them and then place them next to a wall. Minutes later, the military seems to take refuge from something and, meanwhile, shoot at civilians.
Four of the five civilians died instantly and one died later in hospital.
The alleged execution of five civilians by the military in Mexico. Video capture
But it's not all there. After the shooting, the soldiers alter the scene. One of them grabs long guns with a red bag to avoid touching them with his hands and leaving footprints and places them next to the corpses.
Later, another soldier realizes that one of the bodies still carries the handcuffs, which they themselves put on him before, asks another comrade for the key and takes them off.
The officer in charge of the military convoy, Infantry Lieutenant José Luis N, later explained, according to the report he presented, that his men were disarming the civilians when their companions attacked them with bullets, "in an attempt to rescue their personnel."
According to the officer, the military answered. Meanwhile, the detained civilians were trying to recover their weapons, according to this version accessed by Spain's El País. After the bullets, the military realized that four of the five were dead and one more in critical condition, the product of crossfire.
Despite the official report, the video does not show any other civilian pickup truck near where they are, nor anyone other than military firing, although there is a moment of confusion in which the soldiers seem to react to an alleged attack.
In addition, the video shows how at least three soldiers shoot at the five unarmed civilians, next to the wall. Between the soldiers' shots, one of the five moves, snakes, as if he wants to flee. He looks injured, blindfolded. Seconds later, he stops moving.
After the repercussion of the event, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador acknowledged on Wednesday that soldiers executed five people in Nuevo Laredo, on the border with the United States.
"They informed me and they are already acting, apparently there was execution and that cannot be allowed, we are not the same as previous governments," the president said at his daily press conference.
And he continued: "It is going to be analyzed, but from the outset the same Ministry of Defense is recommending that action be taken for the alleged crime of extrajudicial execution. Yes, it is the Prosecutor's Office that is going to do its job, but there is no cover-up, because we do not tolerate the violation of human rights," López Obrador said.
This is not the first time that a similar event has occurred, since just last February soldiers also killed five young people in Nuevo Laredo.
Then, soldiers killed five unarmed boys and left another badly wounded. They all came from spending the night in a disco. A seventh young man, who was unharmed, later said that the soldiers had attacked them with bullets for no reason, when they were returning home.
That boy also said that the soldiers shot one of his colleagues, badly wounded, when he got out of the car in which they were all going, and when the uniformed had the situation under control.
The case achieved great notoriety in the press, because in several videos relatives of the boys appeared, confronting the military who guarded the scene of the events. Some soldiers fired into the air or to the ground. Civilians managed to knock down some soldiers and kicked them on the ground.