By Tracy Wilkinson and Cecilia Sanchez / Los Angles Times
In one of the most polemic large-scale killings confronting the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, a new report says Mexican army soldiers were acting on orders to eliminate suspected criminals “in the darkness” without regard for their rights or due process.
The 50-page report on killings last year in the town of Tlatlaya, released Thursday, coincides with a protest by U.S. lawmakers over Mexico’s increasingly shady human rights record.
Led by Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), 82 members of Congress signed a letter to Secretary of State F. John Kerry citing both the Tlatlaya case and the kidnapping and likely killing last year of 43 college students by police and gangsters in collusion with local politicians in Guerrero state.
“These two cases are not isolated incidents in Mexico,” the letter says. “Rather they illustrate a broader pattern of grave human rights violations in the country, including cases of torture, arbitrary detentions, kidnapping and extrajudicial executions.”
Mexico receives millions of dollars in U.S. aid aimed, in part, at overhauling its police and judicial system.