I know some of our readers feels uncomfortable when we post incidents when the military is implicated in shootings in which innocent victims are killed and are labeled as "collateral damage." Some of the allegations that have been documented and testified to is that some of the victims killed have been caused by the hands of the Mexican military during shooutouts with the bad guys. I have been following these issues very closely and have seen the progression by the military government when it comes to taking responsibility for their part.
I have personally interviewed witnesses of incidents and have spoken with family of the victims.
Be it "friendly fire" "collateral damage" or intentional shooting, they all must be investigated by an impartial process to clear them or hold them responsible. At least from this outcome, we could learn from it if it needs a change in policy or better training.
Many times when we read the different versions of the federal government's claim it almost feels like a cover up or we see how they omit information that might implicate them as being responsible. One thing I notice that has become very common is that when they present evidence when sicarios are implicated they are very sure of the facts and have detailed evidence to support their claim. But when it potentially implicates the federal government, it's always results in an explication that the facts could not be determined and the evidence was inconclusive or absent.
So the investigations continue and as long as I am alive, I will continue to report on them.
Rewind: March 19, 2010, military get in a shootout with sicarios in monterrey that concluded in the TEC of Monterrey. The military reported that two sicarios had been killed in the shootout. Well, it turns out it was not sicarios that were killed, but two students with excellent academic records from Monterrey Institute of Technology. So the people demanded an investigation and the federal government has been investigating themselves. Yesterday they held a press conference to provide an update of the investigation.
The Attorney General office of the Republic (PGR) made a preliminary determination that one of the Monterrey Tech students that was killed last March 19 received at least one gunshot from a large caliber weapon used by sicarios of organized crime.
At a press conference, PGR spokesman Ricardo Najera also reported that his department has implemented an immediate reactionary group composed of police personnel, ministerial agents and forensic experts, who will take charge of incidents involving federal institutions that may occur anywhere in the country.
The PGR affirmed within the framework of the preliminary investigation AP/PGR/DGCAP/DF/027/2010- that until today when it appears that two young engineers were killed from gunshots fired from different distances during the confrontation between the military and criminal elements.
At least in the case of young Jorge Antonio Mercado Alonso, one of the impacts came from the caliber of a weapon known to be used by organized crime. In this regard, the investigation will continue in order to establish the facts, said the PGR.
In this sense, Ricardo Najera said the PGR will continue to search for the truth of the events from that day and determining the acts of responsibility for the events at the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM).
The PGR spokesman showed footage to the media of a video taken by a surveillance camera mounted in a security booth of the university, that corresponds to the same time that stude Jorge Antonio Mercado Alonso sustained in his body bullet fragments from a caliber .223 weapon that is used by organized crime.
The PGR said that the confrontation, in its final stages lasted 40 minutes without interruption and the Army was armed with the military issued weapons G3 rifles 7.62x51 mm caliber, while the sicarios were using assault weapons of .223 and .308 caliber.
On the other deceased, identified as Javier Francisco Arredondo Verdugo, it was reported that fragments of the projectiles found in his body were not useful for ballistic analysis, and therefore the caliber could not be determined.
The official added that the area surrounding the mentioned booth next to the house of studies there was a crossfire between criminals and the military.
He said the young men killed had traces of lead, barium and antimony, whose results are due to a possible defensive move or contamination from gunshots to the arms, near the hands.
In the context of the preliminary investigation there has been 49 interviews by the ministerial, 50 expert reports, 37 inspections analyzed by the ministerial and two autopsies from the two bodies recovered.
He also added that they conducted analysis of the videotape made recorded by the fixed camera in the entry booth ITESM, located within the academic institution that provided coverage to the left hallway that access the building known as the Student Center, that included corroboration of testimony from the security staff of the university.
He said that "with respect to the disturbance of the scene and failure to properly preserve the crime scene, on par with the actions of the PGR, the process will be reviewed the Attorney General of Military Justice to determining responsibility according to the law."