Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Troublesome Death

A wounded gunman who'd been detained after a firefight by the Mexican marines on Sunday was found lifeless on the streets of Santa Catarina, Nuevo León the following day. Stories about the military executing suspects are relatively common, but such bald disrespect for human rights and due process is not usual, at least not in the sense that it makes the papers. The marines say that the suspect was taken to the hospital in the same helicopter as a wounded marine, after which point they have no knowledge of what happened to him. The marines' explanation isn't implausible (presumably his ex-associates would have reason to want the man dead), but the local authorities contradict it, saying that the marines remained in charge. All this should be easy enough to verify, though I suspect it won't turn out that way. If the marines took him to the hospital, somebody was certainly in charge of keeping watch. If it wasn't the marines, then they presumably knew who that somebody was, and that somebody has got some explaining to do.

Tangentially relevant: the CNDH will be training soldiers on human rights. I don't remember the CNDH doing anything like this under the previous boss, so insofar as it is indicative of a greater focus on addressing army abuses, this is good news. Although it may well be window dressing, and Mexico could do a lot more to prevent said abuses by, say, prosecuting them consistently.

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