Army fires on Michoacán protesters, 12-year-old killed

July 21, 2015

7/21/15 El Daily Post

michoacanenglishAnother burst of violence involving military troops on Sunday claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy, yet another sad chapter in the Army’s growing list of bloody confrontations with civilians. A 6-year-old girl was among the four other victims of the shoot-out who were treated at a nearby hospital.

The incident occurred in the rural village of Ixtapilla near Michoacán’s Pacific Coast in the municipality of Aquila. The villagers had organized a protest after hearing of the arrest of regional community defense leader Semeí Verdía Zepeda by the Army while he ate breakfast at another pueblo nearby.

As soon as word of his arrest reached Ixtapilla, his supporters set up road blocks on the coastal highway hoping to prevent the Army from taking Verdía Zepeda to prison. Some media reported that several soldiers had been stopped and taken hostage, effectively, and then taken to Ixtapilla.

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Mexican army to expand presence on border of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas states

June 4, 2014

Mexican army2GlobalPost, 06/04/14

The Mexican army plans to expand its presence on the border between the states of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas as part of the new security strategy for the region, the Nuevo Leon state government said.

Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina and Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos agreed on the expanded troop deployment during a private meeting.

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Amid drug war, Mexico homicide rate up for fourth straight year

August 22, 2012

Los Angeles Times, 8/21/2012

A study has found that Mexico’s homicide rate rose for the fourth year in a row in 2011, this time by 5.6% compared with the previous year — a fact that will come as little surprise to Mexicans who continue to be bombarded each morning with the latest stomach-turning details of the country’s drug war.

The new data, released this week by Mexico’s statistics and geography institute, show that 27,199 people were killed in Mexico last year — or 24 homicides per 100,000 people. The rate in 2007 was 8 per 100,000. Last year it was 23 per 100,000.

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Colonel in Cover-up Case to Be Tried in Mexico Civilian Court

August 13, 2012

The New York Times, 8/10/12

In May 2011, Jethro Sánchez, a 27-year-old engineer, was detained by the Mexican Army, and found tortured and killed. An army colonel was accused of ordering soldiers to hide the body to cover up the crime, and the case vanished in the country’s maze of military justice.

But Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the colonel should be tried in civilian courts, a decision that human rights groups say could upend the way Mexico deals with rights abuses committed by the military in the course of fighting the country’s pervasive drug war.

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Mexico Arrests ‘El Loco’ for Role in Beheading and Mutilation of 49 Victims

May 21, 2012

Fox News Latino, 5/21/2012

The Mexican army has arrested a Zetas drug cartel member for allegedly dumping 49 mutilated bodies in a northern Mexicotown square last week in a deed that was ordered by the hyper-violent drug cartels top leaders.

According to authorities, the leaders ordered their minion, Daniel Jesus Elizondo Ramírez, to dump the bodies and then hang banners around the country denying responsibility.

The announcement came at a news conference Monday to present suspect Elizondo Ramírez, who allegedly got orders from Zetas leaders Miguel-Angel Trevino Morales and Heriberto Lazcano to dump the bodies in the town square of Cadereyta, in the border state of Nuevo Leon.

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Mexican Army: First Time in 70 Years with 3 Detained Generals [In Spanish]

May 21, 2012

Animal Político, 5/21/2012

The recent detention of four high-rank military Mexican officials – two division generals in retirement, a Brigadier general and a lieutenant colonel of cavalry also in retirement – transforms an institution that was once one of the most solid ones of the Mexican state and breaks with a tradition of over 70 years in which the high military hierarchy (as a body) had not been involved in any scandal, much less questioned in its loyalty toward the Mexican state.

The case of General Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo, sentenced to 40 years in prison for his connections with the Juárez Cartel in 1997, translates into a damage to the integrity of the Mexican Army.

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Mexican Senate committees approve judicial reform to try soldiers in civilian courts

April 30, 2012

Justice in Mexico Project, 4/30/12

Two commissions of the Mexican Senate recently approved long-awaited legislation, which would fundamentally change the way in which soldiers believed to be guilty of violations of common law or even human rights abuses are processed.

If passed in the full Senate, Article 58 of the military justice code, as it is known, would establish that military personnel accused of crimes against civilians be tried in federal, civilian courts. The action was approved in both the Senate’s Justice Commission (Comisión de Justicia), and the Primary Commission of Legislative Studies (Comisión de Estudios Legislativos Primera).

Under current law, soldiers accused of crimes against civilians or common crimes are tried in military tribunals, if at all. The legislation has moved very slowly; President Calderón sent the initiative to the Mexican Senate in October 2010.

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