UN rights office urges Mexican authorities to pursue investigation into extrajudicial killings

30 June 2015

The United Nations human rights office has called on the Government of Mexico to extend their investigations into a series of alleged extrajudicial executions and human rights violations committed by authorities last year.

The killings occurred on 30 June 2014 in the village of Cuadrilla Nueva, Tlataya, located in the State of Mexico, during a military operation against a group of armed criminals. Three women survived the incident and two of them were subsequently held on charges of firearm possession and organized crime.

Testimony contradicting the official version of events has since surfaced in local and international media indicating that most of those killed during the operation may have been shot after they had laid down their weapons and surrendered.

“A year after the killing of 22 people during an operation by military forces, reportedly against a criminal gang, in Tlatlaya, in the State of Mexico, we continue to call for justice and redress for the victims,” said Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) yesterday in a statement.

According to the UN human rights office, the Mexican National Human Rights Commission considers that at least 12 of the deaths were extrajudicial executions while the additional three women who witnessed the incident also allegedly suffered human rights violations, including being arbitrarily detained and tortured.

In her statement, Ms. Pouilly declared that although an officer and six soldiers were now awaiting trial, the OHCHR was now calling upon the Mexican authorities “to extend their investigations to include civilian and military authorities who might bear responsibility” for the alleged extrajudicial executions and human rights violations.

“As in any case involving alleged violations by security agents of the principles of legality, proportionality and necessity applicable to the use of force, a prompt, thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigation is required,” the spokesperson concluded.

“Investigating such cases and bringing those responsible to justice is the best way to guarantee that such violations do not happen again.”

 

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