MEXICO CITY – The Roman Catholic prelate of the northern Mexican state of Coahuila said on Tuesday that government at all levels in the Aztec nation is complicit with the criminal organizations responsible for thousands of deaths.
Bishop Raul Vera traveled to Mexico City for a press conference to discuss a report submitted last week to the International Criminal Court (ICC) detailing crimes against humanity committed by Mexican security forces in cooperation with the Los Zetas drug cartel.
The violence in Coahuila is not a matter of chance, but rather a facet of the “generalized criminality” that prevails in Mexico, he said.
The bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila’s capital, cited “structural conditions” such as lax supervision of police and soldiers, especially of the members of “elite forces.”
Filed by more than a hundred civic organizations, the complaint presented to the ICC includes information compiled by the University of Texas School of Law from transcripts of US court cases where cartel defendants have described how their operations enjoyed “the clear and tacit collaboration” of the Coahuila state government.
The submission to the court in The Hague also included dozens of sworn statements by victims of crimes committed by the security forces in partnership with Los Zetas between 2009 and 2012.
In one of those episodes, known as the Allende massacre, police allowed Los Zetas to spend three days terrorizing residents of Allende and other towns in the Cinco Manantiales (Five Springs) region of Coahuila.
The cartel gunmen abducted at least 28 people and killed 11 of them.