Sunday, June 6, 2010

Relatives Demand the Bodies of 3 Students Killed in Reynosa






Relatives of the three students who allegedly died after being chased and shot by soldiers on Wednesday, demonstrated outside the offices of the federal Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) in Reynosa, Tamaulipas. They demanded delivery of the remains of the 3 students and information on the condition and whereabouts of the fourth teenager who disappeared into the custody of the Mexican army.

At the headquarters of the PGR, the parents of the victims demanded federal authorities hand over the bodies of Cesar Alejandro Cuellar, 15 years old, Eduardo Cuellar, 17, and Daniel Hernandez, 13.

On board a public transport bus covered by posters with captions like, "they were students not criminals" and "stop the violence" the mourners arrived and demonstrated at the office of the Human Rights Commission where they also lodged a formal complaint against the Mexican army.

Last Wednesday, at approximately 12:30 PM a convoy of soldiers chased the high school students traveling in a white Dodge Ram pickup after the vehicle allegedly passed without stopping at a military checkpoint on the riverfront at the ejido Los Cavazos .

Witnesses say soldiers shot them, "the truck was in the middle of the asphalt with traces of bullet impacts and the students in their school uniforms, another wounded student was taken."

On Friday, Mauricio Soto, uncle of one of the victims, revealed that a fourth student, identified as Oscar Olivares Acevedo, 17, accompanied the other three boys and is now missing. The boy’s family has no information on his status.

According to Mr. Soto, last Thursday he and other relatives arrived at the military barracks facilities to obtain information on the incident, request the return of the bodies, and verify that Oscar had been arrested but they were threatened physically and verbally by the soldiers present.

"Then we went to the PGR and were told that they knew nothing of Oscar, and that to retrieve the bodies of the three children, we first had to go to the office of the Deputy Attorney General, Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime (SIEDO) in Mexico City for an official release form. Only with that release form will they deliver the remains of the children to us." Mr Soto said. “They have no respect for our pain.”

Protests also occured over the shooting of 3 men by federal police in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas that occured last Thursday. One man was killed and 2 others were injured.

Family members plan to file complaints against the federal police over what they say was an attack on 4 unarmed civilians.

As of late Saturday federal authorities had not released any information or report on the incident.



Tamaulipas has been overwhelmed by violence since February of this year as the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas fight for domination of the drug trafficking routes in the state. The army and federal police are present in force to combat the violence and restore security.

Unfortunately there have been several incidents of collateral damage against civilians by the military. These incidents have been universally mismanaged by the federal forces. At the same time many more civilians have been victimized by the drug cartels.

This is the sad legacy of the drug cartel’s war against the rule of law in Mexico.

6 comments:

  1. It is not completely sure if this can be called collateral damage or not.

    Here's the report released by the military's Facebook page (in Spanish) telling a different story:

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=437291988688

    Recruiting and arming adolescent boys or girls as "sicarios" by the narco-criminals is to me just as repulsive as having them killed in the cross-fire by the soldiers.

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  2. I read the military had fired warning shots-that may have scared the students into thinking they were cartel members. Havent there been several reports where cartels set up their own checkpoints dressed up as military? They were probably in fear and tried to escape. The military should not be using deadly force when they are not in danger of being hurt-had they fired on them first or at least flashed guns-then I would understand. All these events make me feel as if I'll never return to the country that most of my ancestors came from and that saddens me.

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  3. Each week I drive approximately 1,500 km. in northern Mexico. The areas are the rural and urban areas reported each day in these pages. My order of worries for personal danger is, first, the corrupt police. Have you ever been shaken down by the police in Mexico? It is a regular occurrence on our trips. Always have extra money on hand for these "events". The worst case in my experiences was being taken by four policemen to the nearest ATM to withdraw the maximum withdrawal as my "fine". The second danger point for the traveler in northern Mexico are the military checkpoints. Terrifying experiences, such as being questioned or having our cars dismantled by heavily armed illiterate teenage soldiers, who can barely speak intelligibly. The third is petty criminal. We have been robbed during short stops. Way down the list are the "organized criminals". It may be unsafe in northern Mexico, but the insecurity is not caused by the organized criminals.

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  4. there are news around that those so called innocent kids were hitman for the cartels. Wow! Just Wow!

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  5. the way the government/military is handling this is extremely sad...my heart goes out to the parents of the murdered boys and the parents of the boy that is still missing. I don't know what's worse: being the parents of the murdered boys, or being the parents with possibly false hope of finding your kid alive and not knowing where he is.

    I don't blame the military for what happened (it's common sense to stop at the checkpoints), but there could be a better way of handling this (returning the bodies, letting the parents know if they know anything about the missing boy., etc).

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  6. I don't know what really happen but according to the information above this High School students did not stop at a checkpoint.Just pure stupidity.They know how bad the situation is and still they drive a pickup truck with tinted windows and don't stop at the checkpoint.That gaved a reason for the military to gun them.

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