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Investigation launched into possible extrajudicial killings by Mexican soldiers in Nuevo Laredo

Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office is investigating a possible case of extrajudicial killings by soldiers that left five men dead in May in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo, according to a federal official.

A video, originally reported Tuesday evening by U.S.-based Univision and Spain’s El Pais newspaper, apparently shows the daytime incident.

The federal official who was not authorized to comment on the case and requested anonymity, confirmed that the Attorney General’s Office had opened an investigation. The official would not say when the investigation began.

A security camera shows a black pickup truck crashing full speed into a wall. A Mexican military truck with a gun turret arrives shortly thereafter and runs into the passenger side of the pickup, blocking the front and back doors.

Soldiers then pull five men from the pickup, disarming and kicking them, then lining them up against the wall.

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Soldiers then turn back toward the road and appear to open fire. Their apparent attackers are out of frame. Some soldiers while sheltering behind the pickup, turn their guns on the men against the wall.

Later, the soldiers walk around the scene calmly. One, using a red bag apparently to avoid leaving fingerprints, picks up guns and places them next to the bodies.

Mexico’s defense department did not immediately respond to calls requesting comment.

Mexico Fox News graphic

An investigation has been launched into possible extrajudicial killings by Mexican soldiers in Nuevo Laredo.  (Fox News)

The incident would be at least the second case of apparently extrajudicial killings in Nuevo Laredo this year. On Feb. 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, beating some of them.

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In April, federal prosecutors charged four soldiers involved with homicide.

That same month, a human rights organization in Nuevo Laredo sent a formal complaint to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. In it, a man said Mexican National Guard troops had fired on his vehicle in Nuevo Laredo killing his pregnant 15-year-old girlfriend and a 54-year-old friend and wounding two others. A law enforcement crime-scene report on the incident largely corroborated the account of the shooting contained in the complaint.

Soldiers were also arrested in the killings of 22 suspects at a grain warehouse in Tlatlaya in the State of Mexico in 2014.

While some of the 22 died in an initial shootout with an army patrol — in which one soldier was wounded — a human rights investigation determined that at least eight and perhaps as many as a dozen suspects were executed after they surrendered.

Seven soldiers were arrested, freed and then arrested again years later on charges of abuse of authority.

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