Mexico probe: marines abducted 27 in Nuevo Laredo, 12 found dead

Across border from Laredo, Navy was locked in fight with outgrowth of the old Zetas cartel

International Bridge No. 1 spans the Rio Grande River looking toward Laredo coming from the larger city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico as lines of automobiles stream toward the United States. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)
International Bridge No. 1 spans the Rio Grande River looking toward Laredo coming from the larger city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico as lines of automobiles stream toward the United States. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican marines allegedly abducted 27 people in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo in early 2018, 12 of whom were later found dead, according to an investigation by Mexico’s governmental human rights commission.

The rights commission said Tuesday that marines had violated the victims’ “right to life,” but did not say outright they had killed them.

The commission also said marines engaged in “illegal searches and arbitrary detentions.” The commission issued non-binding recommendation that criminal investigations be opened and changes be made in Navy patrol procedures.

On Tuesday the Navy wrote in its Twitter account that it “the points recommended were accepted.”

In Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas, the Navy was locked in a bitter fight at the time against the Northeast cartel, an outgrowth of the old Zetas cartel.

While Mexican marines had played a central role in going after drug cartels in previous administrations, that role has been reduced under current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Read also: US, Canada and Mexico borders to stay closed for travelers

The Navy has said cartel gunmen sometimes wear fake military uniforms and drive vehicles with military markings, but the commission said that was not an adequate defense.