6/6/16 The New York Times
MEXICO CITY — Two days after Jorge Antonio Parral Rabadán was kidnapped by a criminal gang, the Mexican Army raided the remote ranch where he was a prisoner and killed him. As he instinctively raised his hands in defense, the soldiers fired over and over at point-blank range.
A brief army communiqué about the event asserted that soldiers had returned fire and killed three hit men at the El Puerto ranch on April 26, 2010.
But Mr. Parral had fired no weapon.
He was a government employee, the supervisor of a bridge crossing into Texas, when he and a customs agent were abducted, according to a 2013 investigation by the National Human Rights Commission. The case, which is still open, has volleyed among prosecutors, yet his parents persist, determined that someone be held accountable.
“Tell me if this looks like the face of a killer to you,” said Alicia Rabadán Sánchez, Mr. Parral’s mother, pulling a photograph of a happy young man from a plastic folder.
In the years since the Mexican government began an intense military campaign against drug gangs, many stories like Mr. Parral’s have surfaced — accounts of people caught at the intersection of organized crime, security forces and a failing justice system.
They are killed at military checkpoints, vanish inside navy facilities or are tortured by federal police officers. Seldom are their cases investigated. A trial and conviction are even more rare.