MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s navy said Monday it turned 30 marines over to civilian prosecutors to face justice in the cases of people who disappeared during anti-crime operations in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo in 2014.
The navy said there were outstanding warrants for the 30 charging them with “acting in violation of their duty.”
The military personnel were handed over to the federal Attorney General’s Office late last week, the navy said.
Under Mexican law, military tribunals can hear only cases that involve violations of the military code. Offenses against civilians must be tried in civilian courts.
The city across from Laredo, Texas, has long been dominated by the Northeast cartel, an offshoot of the old Zetas gang.
For much of the 2000s, the fight against the cartel was largely entrusted to the marines, who frequently came under fire from heavily armed cartel gunmen. Marines were also accused of rounding up supposed suspects, some of whom were not heard from again. Through 2018, dozens of people disappeared in Nuevo Laredo.
The marines have largely been removed from land anti-cartel operations, and the army and the newly created National Guard have taken over some of those duties.