Army personnel are police in everything but name in today’s Mexico. Policing is just not a mission that they’re properly trained to carry out. An episode on Sunday morning (February 26), in the organized crime-dominated border city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, seems especially serious.
From the Mexican online media outlet Elefante Blanco:
According to the Nuevo Laredo Human Rights Committee, in the early morning hours of Sunday, February 26, a military convoy shot at a white Chevrolet pickup truck on Huasteca Street between Jiménez and Méndez.
The people inside the vehicle tried to protect themselves, but only one survived. Upon hearing the gunshots, the neighbors went out between 4:30 and 5:00 AM to see the scene as the sun came up. At 10 AM, the Sedena [Defense Department, or Army] intervened at the scene of the killing, moving the truck.
…What really inflamed the residents was when the soldiers attempted to tow the white Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, at that point the main evidence in the case, to take it away.
There the confrontation escalated. Residents blocked the way by standing in front of the tow truck, threw stones, and released the truck. One soldier fell and was beaten by several civilians, another was run over by a military vehicle.
Dozens of residents and reporters recorded what was happening on Huasteca Street. The soldiers took cover in the chaos and snatched cell phones, which provoked the population even more. The president of the Committee, Raymundo Ramos, was pushed, his cell phone fell and a pickup truck rammed him.