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After growing protests about the apparent impunity regarding the shooting deaths of five youths over the weekend by members of the Mexican Army in the northern border state of Nuevo León, the country’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) announced on Tuesday, Feb. 28, that it will investigate the case, which so far had not been reviewed by Nuevo León authorities.

In a written statement Tuesday, the CNDH stated that it was opening an extraofficial investigation in to the killings, which took place on Sunday, Feb. 26, in the Manuel Cavazos Lerma neighborhood in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

According to media accounts, several members of Mexico’s National National Defense Secretariat (Sedena) opened fire on six unarmed young men who were sitting in the back of a pickup truck, killing five and wounding the other.

“This agency will carry out the appropriate research work as the law empowers it to, with all seriousness and responsibility, as it has done in other cases and will issue the pronouncements that are relevant,” the CNDH statement said.

The soldiers were allegedly investigating gunshots in the area when they encountered the young men and opened fire on them early Sunday morning after they refused to obey orders to stop, according to a police report.

The police report stated that one of the dead youths has an official Texas identification card on his person at the time of his death, but the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo said that it could not immediately confirm if he was a U.S. citizen.

If the soldiers are charged with the deaths of the youths, under Mexican law they must be tried in a civil, not a military, court.


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