EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The president of Mexico says his administration is investigating the shooting deaths of five men Sunday in Nuevo Laredo, allegedly at the hands of the military.
“I know of the case. We were informed at the Security Cabinet (meeting),” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said at a news conference Wednesday broadcast on YouTube. “(We) asked the Human Rights Commission to intervene. Military authorities are also involved. If any members of the army are guilty, they will be punished.”
Nuevo Laredo activists this week said five men, including a U.S. citizen, were shot to death by an army patrol while driving home from a nightclub. The activists said the men were unarmed. A violent confrontation followed between relatives of the deceased and soldiers securing the scene of the shooting.
The Ministry of Defense on Tuesday issued a statement saying the soldiers shot at the pickup truck carrying the men because they thought they were fired upon.
The soldiers were patrolling the streets of Nuevo Laredo – a city rife with violent drug activity – when they heard shots and spotted the pickup with its seven occupants, according to the army.
The truck with no license plates was speeding with its lights off and carrying an excess number of occupants (seven) and the driver gunned the engine when he saw the soldiers approach, the ministry said in its statement.
The truck crashed during the chase and, “upon hearing a loud noise, military personnel fired their weapons,” the ministry said. Five men died in the incident and one more was injured. There was no mention of what happened to the seventh person.
Lopez Obrador said his administration “won’t hide anything” in connection with the incident.