Two young men allegedly tortured and executed by Mexican soldiers
On 18 March 2013, Alfredo Ruiz Rojas (23) and a teenager were shot and killed in disputed circumstances in the town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
They were killed by members of the Mexican Army near the Valles Elizondo neighbourhood, on the US border. The Tamaulipas State Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado, PGJE) reported that the men had been killed by the army after a shootout, and arms had been discovered in their vehicle. The Federal Attorney General’s Office opened an enquiry on the basis of the military report of the incident.
However, contrary such reports, an eye witness later that day informed Alfredo Ruiz Galaraz (father of Alfredo Ruiz Rojas) that his son and the teenager had been summarily executed by the military after being tortured. Alfredo Ruiz Galaraz visited Valles Elizondo and spoke to the witness who confirmed seeing soldiers detain the two victims. The witness reported coming across the soldiers in surrounding scrubland; the soldiers repeatedly beat the victims with military weapons then shot them. The soliders detained the witness, beat him and warned him that he would suffer the same fate if he reported what he had seen. He was then released.
After identifying his son’s body at the PGJE morgue, Alfredo Ruiz Galarza filed a complaint with the Human Rights Committee of Nuevo Laredo (Comite de Derechos Humanos Nuevo Laredo) and the National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDH). Alfredo Ruiz Rojas’ family reported that their son’s body showed evidence of torture. The CNDH subsequently visited Nuevo Laredo in order to conduct an autopsy and interview witnesses. The CNDH has been asked to request that authorities provide protection measures for the family, witnesses and the human rights organization – all of who may be at risk of reprisals.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 9 MAY 2013 TO: (Time difference = GMT - 6 hrs / BST - 7 hrs).
Attorney General of the Republic
Jesús Murillo Karam
Paseo de la reforma 211-213
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Distrito Federal.
C.P. 06500, México
Fax: 0052 55 5346 0908 (keep trying, and ask for "fax")
Salutation: Dear Attorney General
Minister of Interior
Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong
Secretario de Gobernacion
Bucareli 99, col. Juárez, Cuauhtemoc, Distrito Federal, C.P. 6600, México
Fax: 0052 55 5093 3414
Salutation: Dear Minister
And copies to:
Secretary of Defense
Gral. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 596, Col. Irrigación, Miguel Hidalgo,
Distrito Federal, C.P. 11500, México
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY IN SPANISH, ENGLISH OR YOUR OWN LANGUAGE USING SAMPLE LETTER BELOW.
Dear Attorney General / Minister
I am writing to express my concerns about the alleged summary execution of Alfredo Ruiz Rojas and his teenage accomplice on 18 March 2013. Allegedly The Mexican Army beat and tortured the two young men before executing them in cold blood. I am also writing to express further concerns about the treatment of an eye witness who was allegedly detained and beaten by the soldiers before being released and threatened with the same fate if he dared to speak about the torture and summary executions which he witnessed.
I implore you to conduct a full, prompt impartial investigation under the sole charge of civilian judicial authorities into the alleged torture and summary execution of Alfredo Ruiz Rojas and the teenager;
I urge you to guarantee the safety of the family of Alfredo Ruiz Rojas, witnesses and the local human rights organization, and ensure their protection from unscrupulous individuals.
Furthermore, I implore you to ensure that the results of the investigation by prosecutors and the National Human Rights Commission are made public at the earliest possible moment and, where there is evidence of human rights violations, for all those responsible to be brought to justice.
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