Friday, November 14, 2014

Mexican Defense Minister faults civilian trial of soldiers

Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos
Agence France Presse reports that the Mexican Defense Minister has spoken out against the trial of military personnel in civilian courts:
Armed forces in Mexico have faced accusations of abuse, torture and illegal detentions ever since former president Felipe Calderon deployed soldiers against drug cartels in 2006.
Until 2012, they were exempt from civilian justice. But the Supreme Court ruled two years ago that the military trial system was the wrong place for crimes against civilians.
The reform is facing a major test with the recent civilian charges lodged against seven soldiers in connection with the killing of 22 gang suspects in June in Tlatlaya, 240 kilometers (149 miles) south of Mexico City.
In unusually blunt remarks this week that raised eyebrows, Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos, an army general, slammed the trials against soldiers.
"We will offer our best efforts at the service of citizens without fear of unfair trials, some of them without a doubt wrong, lacking foundation, malicious," Cienfuegos said.
"The national armed forces don't deserve it."

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