Shocking moment Mexico military soldiers ‘execute’ five ‘cartel members’ after they crashed during a high-speed chase: Case is now in the hands of prosecutors with president saying the actions ‘cannot be permitted’
A video obtained earlier this week by multiple Spanish-speaking media outlets shows the moment Mexican soldiers shot five alleged members of the Northeast cartel members
Four of the male suspects died on the scene and another was declared dead on an ambulance that was transporting him to a Nuevo Laredo hospital May 18
Victims were identified as José Ángel, 27, José Antonio, 32, Edgar Chavarría, 38, José Isabel, 23, and Clinton Alex, 25
The commander of the unit reported that his infantry had come under fire by members of the Cártel del Noreste, while they inspected a pickup truck that was carrying the five men
During the search Lt Jose Nava said, the suspects tried to recover their weapons and were killed in a crossfire
Mexican President André Manuel López Obrador Wednesday said, ‘Apparently this was an execution, and that cannot be permitted,’ added that the soldiers will be brought up on charges
Local media outlets released a viral video that purports to show members of Mexico’s military drag figures out of a pickup truck that crashed, ending a speed a chase, beat and then ‘execute’ the five men, reported to be cartel members
Mexican President André Manuel López Obrador has vowed that a group of soldiers who were caught on camera ‘executing’ five alleged members of a criminal organization will be prosecuted. Meanwhile reacting to the incident some critics said the incident as an example of extrajudicial killings, occasioned by the government’s insistence on using the military for everyday policing of crime on the streets
The shocking video from May 18 showed the victims’ black pickup truck crashing at a high speed into the wall of a store in the border town of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, across from Laredo, Texas. The military truck that was chasing it then crashed into the right side of the truck near the passenger door.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Wednesday the soldiers who were involved in the killings of five alleged drug traffickers will be prosecuted
The men were forced out of the pickup, beaten, dragged across the dirt-covered ground, forced to kneel facing the wall and later shot before the soldiers tried to stage the scene as an armed confrontation.
‘Apparently this was an execution, and that cannot be permitted,’ López Obrador said Wednesday during his daily morning briefing at the National Palace in Mexico City.
‘Those responsible are about to be turned over to the appropriate authorities,’ Obrador said confirming that there would be an investigation into the alleged incident
The victims were identified as José Ángel, 27, José Antonio, 32, Edgar Chavarría, 38, José Isabel, 23, and 25-year-old Clinton Alex.
Mexican media outlets released a video that purports to show soldiers pulling the men from a crashed pick-up truck in Nuevo Laredo, in the state of Tamaulipas. Soldiers then beat the occupants before lining them up against a wall and shooting them
A black pickup truck carrying five alleged members of the Northeast Cartel slams directly into the wall of a store after it was being chased by the military in the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo, across from Laredo, Texas, on May 18
The day of the incident leading up to the massacre, multiple shootouts and road blockades were reported to authorities although no injuries or deaths were registered. Nuevo Laredo Mayor Carmen Cantún took to social media to advise residents to shelter at their homes and places of employment until authorities had a better sense of the reported events.
According to the Mexican newspaper Proceso, lieutenant José Nava filed an incident report with the Ministry of National Defense and noted that his infantry had come under fire by purported members of the Cártel del Noreste [Northeast Cartel], while his troops inspected a pickup truck that was carrying the five men. During the search Lt. Nava said, the suspects tried to recover their weapons and were killed in the crossfire.
Mexican soldiers aim their weapons as they approach the pickup truck carrying five alleged members of the Northeast Cartel the afternoon of May 18
The sequence of events kicks off at 1:36 pm on May 18, when the pickup truck transporting the alleged drug traffickers was spotted by the security cameras crossing over the median, almost crashing head-on into two vehicles, before it slams into the perimeter wall protecting a building.
A minute later, soldiers are seen arriving, guns drawn. They pull five men from the crashed truck.
Two minutes elapse before one of the soldiers removes a Barrett .50 caliber semi-automatic rifle, the same one used by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel in the June 2020 botched assassination plot of Omar García, Mexico City’s security chief, from the vehicle.
The cartel members are then dragged away from their vehicle, with one of the soldier, who appears to be the one in command apparently instructing his troops to line up the men pulled out of the truck, kneeling and facing the wall.
At 2:41 pm, the military truck leaves the scene and the soldier who was yelling instructions is seen telling his men where to stand before the truck returns. After the commander boards the truck and departs, his men remain behind and start beating the suspects.
Soldiers drag one of the five alleged cartel suspects who they killed on May 18 after their pickup truck crashed into a wall
The soldiers set themselves next to the pickup truck and one of them fires two shots into the ground near the kneeling men. They subsequently open fire, with no attackers anywhere to be seen.
This was the prelude to the troops stepping up to the suspects, aiming their weapons at them and firing.
After shooting their captives, the soldiers are seen placing the weapons next to their bodies.
Four of the suspects were declared dead on the scene.
The fifth victim died while he was being transported to a local hospital. He reportedly, had three bullet wounds.
‘It seems that the intention was to leave these bodies with weapons to make it look like a confrontation between armed groups of civilians, as has happened before,’ said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera of George Mason University, an expert on studies the border.
In her opinion, the soldiers were trying to stage the crime scene like there had been an armed confrontation.
A Mexican soldier aims his gun at one of the five cartel suspects who were executed May 18
The killings appear to call into question López Obrador’s strategy of relying almost exclusively on the military for law enforcement.
‘It is clear that the armed forces have been participating in security in this city, and also that this city has never been made safe,’ she said. ‘As long as we have soldiers doing, [law enforcement], duties in the streets, this is going to keep happening.’
The incident would be at least the second case of apparently extrajudicial killings in Nuevo Laredo this year.
On February 26, soldiers killed five young men who were riding inside a vehicle.
The men were apparently unarmed and in a report, Mexico’s governmental human rights agency said the soldiers had fired into the vehicle without giving verbal orders for it to stop.
Angry neighbors attacked the soldiers, assaulting some of them and in April, federal prosecutors charged four soldiers involved with homicide in the case.