Center Prodh

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center

Judge orders Attorney General’s Office to investigate Tlatlaya case

Court concludes that neither the facts of the case nor the chain of command have been adequately investigated.

  • Orders federal Attorney General’s Office to present an investigation plan.

Mexico City, August 15, 2017. As the Spanish newspaper El País reported today, on July 31st the 14th District Judge specializing in criminal constitutional challenges (amparo) in Mexico City ordered the federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to investigate the Tlatlaya case with due diligence, in the judgment handed down in amparo 545/2017.

The court concluded that the PGR’s lack of action violates human rights and called for a swift and exhaustive investigation.

The judgment explains that the PGR has not carried out investigative actions that could lead to clarifying the facts or to accountability for the military order that instructed soldiers to “kill criminals in the darkness of the night,” sent to the operational base to which the material authors of the extrajudicial executions belonged. The judgment highlights that there has been no investigation of the chain of command.

The court also determined that all of the investigations into the case should be joined in one investigation file, and ordered the PGR to create an investigation plan, with relevant activities programmed within a set timeframe.

This judgment confirms what we denounced on the third anniversary of the massacre this past June: that the impunity that reigns in this emblematic case is a sign of the structural flaws in criminal investigation in Mexico, especially when government agents are involved in serious crimes or human rights violations. This same impunity serves as a warning of the dangers of approving the proposed Internal Security Law, which threatens to normalize the militarization of public security tasks without adequate civilian control, and will be up for discussion next month when Congress begins its fall sessions.

We recall that, as documented by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), at least 12-15 of the civilians executed in Tlatlaya were victims of extrajudicial execution; however, to date no one has been punished for this arbitrary deprivation of life, there has not been a full criminal investigation into the facts, and no one has been held responsible for the widely documented alteration of the crime scene with the intent of covering up the executions.

Therefore, we urgently call on the PGR to comply with this important judgment and direct its efforts toward truth and accountability in this paradigmatic case. The current context in our country demands that such extrajudicial executions do not go unpunished.

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