The arrests came after footage of the alleged “executions” was released by a Spanish newspaper and a U.S. broadcaster.
Mexican soldiers who were wanted in connection with the killing of five civilians last month have been apprehended
The surveillance video, published by El Pais and Univision, shows a disturbing incident that took place on May 18 in Nuevo Laredo, a city near the U.S. border known for high levels of criminal violence. The footage begins with a pickup truck involved in a chase crashing into a wall at high speed. Subsequently, an armored car with a roof-mounted machine gun rams into the side of the truck.
A group of soldiers then surround the damaged vehicle and forcibly extract five men who are tied up. The soldiers proceed to physically assault and kick the helpless men. In the video, the soldiers are seen returning fire, supposedly in response to unidentified shooters who are not visible. One soldier is observed shooting at the five detainees, resulting in the death of four individuals at the scene. The fifth victim, who received medical attention an hour later, died while en route to the hospital.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident, involving both Mexican prosecutors and the military
Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an associate professor at George Mason University specializing in border studies, stated that the soldiers may have attempted to tamper with the crime scene to make it appear as if there had been an armed confrontation. Correa-Cabrera suggested that the intention was to leave the victims with weapons, creating the illusion of a clash between armed civilian groups, a tactic that has been employed in the past.
These killings raise concerns about President López Obrador‘s strategy of heavily relying on the military for law enforcement. Correa-Cabrera expressed doubt regarding the effectiveness of deploying soldiers for policing duties and emphasized that such incidents would continue as long as soldiers were assigned to street-level law enforcement.