By Christopher Sherman / Associated Press
Mexico’s defense secretary formally apologized to the country over the weekend for a video-recorded incident of torture involving two soldiers and a federal police officer.
Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda addressed a sea of green-uniformed soldiers in a televised address that illustrated just how damaging the graphic torture video has been for the institution.
“In the name of all who make up this great institution, I offer a sincere apology to all of society offended by this unacceptable event,” Cienfuegos said. He urged soldiers and citizens to come forward to report other abuses.
Torture by police and armed forces has long been criticized as a far too common technique for extracting information or confessions from suspects.
But the video of a young woman having a rifle muzzle pressed to her head by a female military police officer and having a plastic bag placed over her head by a female federal police officer has stirred outrage. The incident occurred Feb. 5, 2015, in Ajuchitlan del Progreso in the southern state of Guerrero. The state has seen a massive deployment of soldiers and federal police to fight the drug cartels.