Borderland Beat has a translation of a Proceso article about a soldier–a military nurse–assigned to the border crossing at Piedras Negras/Eagle Pass. This soldier tried to stop a load of drugs being passed through the checkpoint by his fellow soldiers who were actually working for drug dealers. When the soldier tried to do his job by firing his weapon at the ground, the corrupt soldiers called for reinforcements… In the confusion, one soldier dies from a ricocheting bullet. The nurse who tried to stop the smuggling is shot numerous times in the legs and sent to a prison hospital where his legs are amputated. He is also convicted of murder for the death of the smuggling soldier he wounded… The details of how the video evidence is ignored by the military judges is even more interesting. And how the soldier who tried to stop the criminals is smeared in the press. I think the key phrase in the story is when the corporal working for the narcos screams at the army nurse:
“!No la hagas de pedo, ya está arreglado, vas a valer madres!”, le advirtió el cabo de zapadores Onésimo Díaz Robles…
The transportation of the drug load was approved and arranged by military higher-ups and the honest soldier who tries to do his job ends up losing his legs and accused of murder and in prison. I’d also like to add a correction to the Borderland Beat translation of the Proceso headline: MUTILATED AND IMPRISONED…FOR DOING HIS JOB (that is…for carrying out his duties in a disciplined manner…)
There are many comments at the link to the Proceso story. I would like to pose the question of why incidents like this one that are covered in the national press in Mexico (Proceso is the most important news magazine in the country) are consistently ignored by the U.S. and other international press? Is it because this reality challenges the standard view of the Mexican government and the US government that the Mexican Army are all good guys and fighting the good fight against narco-traffickers? I would note that this one soldier who tried to do the job he was assigned to do was completely surrounded by soldiers at all levels transporting drugs. And in addition to his severe injuries, he is also destroyed by the justice system. molly
Note this from the Mexican article that is not included in the Reuters
Information from investigations carried out by DEA inside the US revealed
that some Mexican army and marines have been collaborating with the Zetas
and the Gulf, Sinaloa and Juarez cartels. The US officer, who asked that
his name and agency not be revealed because he was not authorized to make
statements to the press, said that the premise had always been maintained
that military officers were innocent until proven guilty and in some cases,
they will be seeking extradition to the United States so that they can
collaborate with justice in the US.
Information from the US anti-drug agency indicates that, after a year and a
half of operations in US territory, arrests have been made that have led to
the capture of members of the Zetas, as well as those of La Familia
Michoacana, and the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels inside US territory.
Note the information here on the levels of impunity… the 2% figure
is often quoted and actually, it is worse. Two percent is generally
cited as the percentage of crimes that go to some kind of judicial
process—it does not imply that anyone is convicted or sentenced for
the crime… in the case of kidnappings, the figure is even worse
since almost none of the crimes are even reported… m.
In Mexico, a Kidnapping Ignored as Crime Worsens