World Bulletin / News Desk
Eight Mexican soldiers were arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of 22 suspected gang members, authorities announced late Thursday night.
Seven soldiers are charged with violations of military discipline, and a lieutenant is also facing charges of disobedience and breach of duties, according a statement issued by the Department of Defense. Some unconfirmed reports contend that 25 soldiers were arrested for the killings.
On June 30, 22 people were killed in a warehouse in Tlatlaya, about 150 miles southwest of Mexico City.
On the day of the shootings, the Ministry of Defense reported that the shootings resulted from a clash between members of the army and armed criminals who attacked the soldiers.
But a report last week, published in the Latin American Esquire magazine, detailed the testimonies of two witnesses who say that after the confrontation, the suspects surrendered, but once they were on the floor, army soldiers executed the group.
The Ministry of Defense said the military investigation will continue "regardless of the investigations carried out by the civil authorities."
The soldiers are being held at Military Camp Number One and are under the responsibility of the Sixth Military Court, in Mexico City.
The head of the Ministry of Defense, Salvador Cienfuegos, sought to calm public fear and anger Thursday when he said that the army will respect the human rights of the civilian population.
“Who does not respect the civilian population will be submitted to the relevant legal authorities so they can determine the following process,” he said.
"Our commitment is, despite the risks the troops are exposed to – to protect society, unreservedly respecting the fundamental rights," he added.Last Mod: 27 Eylül 2014, 11:35