Mexico City (AP) — Human rights groups confirmed Thursday that seven Mexican soldiers, who were accused of killing 22 drug cartel suspects in 2014 but were later released, were re-arrested.
The newspaper El Universal reported Thursday that three out of seven were detained in a military prison in Mexico City and four were released on bail but reported daily. Seven have faced abuse of authority and three have been charged with changing evidence at the crime scene.
The Miguel Agustin Pro Human Rights Center, which represents a woman whose daughter was killed in the massacre, confirmed that the soldiers had been re-arrested and said the proceedings against them remained active.
The soldiers were detained in 2015, but were released shortly thereafter when the judge determined that the prosecution did not provide sufficient evidence. Relatives of two of the victims appealed the dismissal of private criminal charges against seven, three of whom were sentenced to violate military law.
In October 2019, the court ordered the soldiers to be re-arrested.
“These arrest warrants have not been enforced for 16 months,” the Rights Center said in a statement. “Today it became clear that they were done.”
The June 2014 massacre involved soldiers who killed 22 suspects in a grain warehouse in the town of Tratraya.
Some of 22 were killed in the first gun battle by military patrols (one soldier was injured), but human rights investigations executed at least eight, and perhaps twelve, suspects after surrender. It turned out that.
Investigators found that survivors and witnesses were threatened and tortured while the bodies were moved and weapons were planted on the scene. Forensic evidence showed that many of the dead were lined up on the wall and shot while raising their hands in an instinctive act of self-defense.