Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mexican Army: Kids Not Killed by Troops



First they said that they were killed by gunmen, then it was that they were killed by Mexican troops and they were sorry, and now they say they were killed by criminals afterall.

A joint investigation by Mexican military and civilian prosecutors concluded that drug-cartel gunmen, not soldiers, were responsible for the deaths of two children during a confrontation in the northern state of Tamaulipas, officials said here Friday.

The youngsters were killed April 3 on the road linking the towns of Nueva Ciudad Guerrero and Ciudad Mier, where a family of 13 traveling in an SUV was caught in a crossfire between troops and gunmen.

Bryan and Martin Almanza Salazar, ages 5 and 9, were killed and seven other family members wounded. The survivors blamed the military, saying that the troops opened fire without provocation.

The SUV in which the family was travelling on during the attack. The impacts from bullets and grende can be seen on the rear of he vehicle.

At a press briefing Friday in Mexico City, the chief military prosecutor, Gen. Jose Luis Chavez Garcia, said the soldiers went to the road in Tamaulipas based on an anonymous tip about a battle between rival criminal groups.

Finding six bullet-riddled SUVs abandoned at the scene, the troops continued down the road until they encountered a convoy of seven SUVs traveling in the opposite direction, whose occupants opened fire on the soldiers.

Four of the seven SUVs fled and the Almanza Salazar family’s vehicle ended up between two other vehicles carrying gunmen, Gen. Chavez said.

Autopsies determined the two children were killed by shrapnel from a launcher-propelled 40 mm grenade that struck the back of the family’s vehicle, a type of munition the Mexican army doesn’t use, according to Chavez.

He acknowledged, however, that some of the rounds fired by the soldiers did hit the Almanza Salazar vehicle.

More videos at the end of article

The soldiers killed my children: Cynthia Salazar.

The mother of the two children who lost their lives in Tamaulipas, Cynthia Salazar, disputed the version released by the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) in the claim that her sons were killed from grenades

"Bryan died from impacts of bullets, not grenades, and things did not happen like they say," she denounced the version from the military.

Mtro. Granados Chapa, Cintya Salazar madre de #MartinyBryan: con Carlos Urdiales.-Pide que se castigue a los culpables sound bite

In a radio interview she said: "I am 100% sure that it was the soldiers who attacked my family."

Yesterday morning the Attorney General of Military Justice, Jose Luis Chavez Garcia, said that according to a report from the military the children were killed by "shrapnel from grenades that are not used by the Army."

However, Mrs. Salazar insisted that "Bryan died of impacts from bullets. He died while in my arms when I got off the truck."

After her interview, the family lawyer, Raymundo Ramos, said he will reach out to the international community if necessary, and invited President Felipe Calderón to attend a town hall meeting in Tamaulipas like he did in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, following the massacre of 16 teenagers in Villas de Salvácar.

I another development the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today announced that the reports and opinions submitted by the military will be compared with their own investigations.

This was announced by the representative of NHRC, Raul Plascencia, while presiding over a press conference in Culiacán based on a report from the work of the state ombudsman, Juan José Ríos Estavillo.

Plascencia reminded everyone that in 2009 the military received the highest number of complaints with a total of 30 cases and the worst is that the military forces continue with these practices.


  1. Buggs, do you think you might be able to reach either the mother of the children or the Human Rights Commission in Culiacan to find out if an autopsy is included in their own independent investigation they are said to be conducting?

    Also if the military is releasing their sources to HRC in order to confirm some of the claims they are making?

    I think a little more US intervention might be necessary here.

  2. after reading three conflicting reports the official government response expects me to believe the newest version "not gonna happen" May they rot in hell where the father of all lies awaits them.

  3. Does the family still have the vehicle? That could also give clues if a competent forensic investigator can examine it to see if it collaborates the claim by the military.

  4. This is so sad. I dont know why they arent letting families in Mexico come the US as refugees. They are not able to live in peace like the people in Africa and all the other countries we let refugees come from.

  5. Mexican Army is in CYA mode. They present no credible evidence to substantiate their claims. Where is an impartial autopsy?

  6. don´t believe everything you hear in the news actually the delinquents uses federals uniforms and uses military uniforms and do things like this or worse ..why? cuz if people knows that the soldiers do things like these their reputation will fall down... im not sayin that it´s impossible that the soldiers can´t made a mistake actually we are livin a war in mexico and in all battle´s exists dead casualties and even friendly fire
    the zeta´s also pays people to do marchs and riots against the military force´s --why? cuz it will appear in the news and the media and they made the people believe that the soldiers are evil.
    Soldiers are our only hope in Mexico!


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