The Military Attorney General's Office has arrested 16 soldiers for the events in Nuevo Laredo. On 18 May, a military convoy detained five men after a van chase. The men were armed. The soldiers took away pistols and rifles and subdued them. Minutes later, they were allegedly shot. Four died instantly and one, moments later, in hospital. The soldiers involved are imprisoned since this Friday, in the prison of Military Camp Number 1-A, in Mexico City.
The Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) has reported the arrest in a statement released on Saturday. The agency has not given further details. It has not explained what crimes the Military Prosecutor's Office charges its elements with or what the ranks of the detainees are. It has only said that "the arrest warrants were granted by the First Court of Control of the First Military Region, for allegedly configuring crimes contrary to military discipline."
Meanwhile, the Attorney General's Office (FGR), which is responsible for investigating the commission of common crimes, such as murder or abuse of authority, has not commented on the matter. Although it happened in May, the case came to light this week, when EL PAÍS published a video that captured the final part of the persecution, the crash of the civilian vehicle, the arrival of the military, the arrest of the others and, later, their apparent execution. Neither then nor now, the FGR has reported the case, although it maintains an open investigation in this regard.
The bureaucratic choreography of communiqués and arrests emulates that of February, in another episode of alleged military malpractice. Then, soldiers attacked with bullets a group of young people, also in Nuevo Laredo, on a Sunday morning, when they were returning to their homes. The boys, who were unarmed, had spent the night in a discotheque. Five were shot dead, one more was seriously wounded and another, who was unharmed, recounted what happened. The latter also said that the military, after the first attack, shot one of his companions, as he got out of the truck, badly wounded, asking for help.
In response to what happened, the Sedena arrested the four soldiers who allegedly fired and detained them in the military prison of Mexico City. The FGR, in charge of the investigations, as in the events of May, let the military institute do it. In the statement on Saturday, the secretariat says: "These actions are independent of the investigation carried out by the Attorney General's Office, with which this Secretariat of State collaborates, in order to determine the corresponding responsibilities at the federal level "
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