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Mexican police officers charged with torturing women over executions

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Seven Mexican police officers were charged with torturing three women who witnessed possible executions by Army soldiers. Photo by Frontpage/Shutterstock
Seven Mexican police officers were charged with torturing three women who witnessed possible executions by Army soldiers. Photo by Frontpage/Shutterstock

MEXICO CITY, July 2 (UPI) -- Seven Mexican police officers on Wednesday were charged with torturing three women who witnessed executions by Army soldiers.

The three women were threatened and tortured by police to corroborate the Army's account of a deadly incident.

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In June 2014, an Army patrol reported being shot at by a group of people in the village of San Pedro Limon, about 150 miles southwest of Mexico City. The patrol and police followed the apparent attackers to a warehouse and a gun battle reportedly took place.

Only one police officer was injured but 22 people, reportedly drug cartel members, were killed, which raised suspicions over what was described by the Army as a fierce and long gun battle.

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Investigators at the scene determined that multiple victims were lined up against a wall and shot close range. A report by the Mexican government's Human Rights Commission concluded that up to 15 of the victims were executed in the warehouse.

The three women who survived said most of the victims were killed in cold blood.

Three soldiers were previously charged with murder and seven were charged with breach of duty after the events, but no cases have gone to trial yet.

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Amnesty International condemns Mexico's apparent "out of control" torture and mistreatment. The number of people complaining of torture increased by 600 percent between 2003 and 2013.

"Among the population, there is widespread fear of torture -- 64 percent of Mexicans are afraid of torture should they be taken into custody," according to Amnesty International.

Mexico's federal courts have handled 123 prosecutions for torture between 2005 and 2013, but only seven have resulted in convictions, according to Mexico's Federal Judiciary Council.

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