AI demands investigation on Tlatlaya orders

The orders command soldiers to work at night to kill criminals.
Amnesty International demanded an investigation on the supposed orders given to the military. (Photo: Archive/ EL UNIVERSAL)
03/07/2015
17:38
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Amnesty International has called on the authorities to investigate a document recently uncovered by civil organizations indicating that the killing of 22 people in June 2014 was the result of an order to eradicate criminals, and not of a combat between outlaws and the military.

AI said that this order comes to light in the middle of the most severe human rights crisis in the recent history of Mexico, with thousands of people killed or disappeared.

"It is essential that President Enrique Peña Nieto makes a public condemnation of this act and a commitment to human rights by ordering a prompt, full and independent investigation by the civilian authorities on how are the armed forces applying the security policies of the government".

Erika Guevara-Rosas, program director of Amnesty International for the Americas, recalled that on June 30, 2014, 22 people who allegedly belonged to an armed gang in Tlatlaya, State of Mexico, died at the hands of soldiers in what the authorities said was a confrontation with armed criminals.

However, the National Human Rights Commission and a special investigation committee of Congress concluded separately that the majority of those killed did not die in the confrontation, as claimed by the Ministry of National Defense, but were shot dead when they no longer posed a threat to the soldiers.

Last Thursday, Mexican human rights organizations presented the order that preceded the operation. On June 11, 2014, the 102 Infantry Battalion gave the following commands: "Soldiers should operate on a mass scale at night and reduce daytime activities, with the aim of killing criminals at night." The orders were signed by Lt. Col. Sandro Díaz Rodríguez, commander of the 102 Infantry Battalion.

According to AI, this order was the basis of the operations carried out by the military unit in the specific area of Tlatlaya at the time of the massacre. After the operation of June 30, the soldiers reported that they had "fell" 22 offenders.

Amnesty noted that in the context of this case there is no doubt that the term "fell" means "kill," as the term is used with that precise meaning in various military documents.

The same terminology, he added, has been in use for many years in multiple press releases.

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