EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A human rights organization is asking the President of Mexico to investigate an early Sunday shooting in Nuevo Laredo that left five men dead, including a U.S. citizen, at the hands of the Mexican army.
The Nuevo Laredo Human Rights Committee said six men who had just left a nightclub were riding a pickup that was stopped by soldiers at the intersection of Huasteca and Mendez streets in that city across the border from Laredo, Texas.
The committee said in a statement that the soldiers fired at least 20 shots at the pickup, killing five occupants and wounding a sixth. The group said several relatives of the victims as well as residents of the Manuel Cavazos Lerma neighborhood arrived at the scene to demand accountability from the soldiers and were fired upon.
“We are making an urgent call on the President of Mexico, the Attorney General’s Office and the National Human Rights Commission to order an exhaustive investigation into this new massacre committed by the Mexican army and made worse by soldiers firing (bullets) to disperse a group of citizens outraged by so much abuse and injustice,” human rights committee President Raymundo Ramos Vazquez said in the statement.
The group reported scuffles between the army and members of the crowd that left an elderly woman injured and resulted in a soldier using a taser on a news reporter on the scene. Postings on social media documented the scuffles. Social media videos also documented residents kicking a fallen Mexican soldier.
“At least three soldiers fired their weapons, rifles and guns, to disperse the crowd, putting at risk the lives of residents, journalists and even children,” Ramos said.
The group identified the victims as Gustavo Perez Beriles, Wilberto Mata Estrada, Jonathan Aguilar Sanchez, Alejandro Trujillo Rojas, and Angel Suarez Castillo – whom it said was a U.S. citizen.
Neither the Ministry of Defense (SEDENA) nor the Tamaulipas Attorney General has issued statements on the incident on Monday.
Nuevo Laredo, in the state of Tamaulipas, in the past three years has been the site of numerous confrontations between members of the Northeast cartel and the Gulf cartel, as well as members of those groups against the army and other Mexican law enforcement.