Mexican judge orders investigation of inquiries into extrajudicial killings

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A Mexican judge has ordered the country’s attorney general to investigate possible negligence in inquiries conducted into extrajudicial executions allegedly committed by the military in 2014, according to a decision announced on Tuesday.

The Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center (Prodh) said in June that there had been serious flaws in investigations into the case involving the deaths of 22 people in the city of Tlatlaya, in the state of Mexico.

The decision from Erik Zabalgoitia Novales, a federal judge, was issued in July. “The arguments of the plaintiff are justified, in that they maintain that the claimed omissions infringe on … the fundamental rights in favor of the victims of crimes,” he said.

The judge attributed the omissions principally to investigators in the region, who were responsible for assembling evidence in the case.

Prodh said there were discrepancies between the investigations conducted by the military, whose soldiers allegedly participated in the deaths, and the National Human Rights Commission.

Last year, a military tribunal pardoned six of seven soldiers allegedly involved in the case.

Authorities said at the time that the deceased were members of a cartel, and that the armed forces acted in self defense.

Later, international press reported that there was evidence that the killings had been extrajudicial, which was later reiterated by the National Human Rights Commission.

Prodh’s position was based on photographs that showed the probable manipulation of 19 of the 22 corpses, among other things. The announcement prompted the mother of one of the victims to sue.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Writing by Julia Love