Photo: Shooting of U.S. Embassy Personnel
The police officers who fired on a U.S. Embassy SUV and wounded two officials from that country will be punished “upon confirmation of the excessive use of force,” the Mexican Public Safety Secretariat said.
“Upon confirmation of the excessive use of force, lack of following operational protocols and complicity in crime in the conduct of public servants, the Federal Police is the first to be interested in punishment in accord with the law,” the secretariat said in a statement.
On Friday, Aug. 24, two U.S. Embassy officials, both of them security experts, were wounded when they were fired upon by Mexican Federal Police as they were traveling in an armored vehicle with diplomatic plates along a road in the central state of Morelos.
The incident occurred along the stretch of road at Tres Marias Huitzilas, just outside the Federal District.
The people responsible for firing on the vehicle were federal law enforcement agents who were investigating the kidnapping of a federal official, the secretariat said.
The U.S. Embassy initially said that the attack had been “an ambush.”
A judge ordered the preventive arrest of the 12 police officers involved on “abuse of authority” and other charges, while the investigation was conducted.
The Federal Police cooperated with the investigation by prosecutors and placed at their disposal the information that is contributing to ascertaining each officer’s responsibilities in the incident, the secretariat said.
“The Federal Police will undertake with determination the necessary corrective actions so that these regrettable events do not occur again,” the secretariat said.
These type of activities and attitudes, which are “contrary to the spirit of the corps and honorability that govern the daily activities of the Federal Police, have not been and will not be tolerated,” the secretariat said.
Officials have maintained ongoing communication with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and with the Attorney General’s Office “with the objective of establishing a close collaboration that will facilitate the full clarification of the facts,” the Public Safety Secretariat said.
Neither the U.S. or Mexican government has provided any details about the wounded Americans, but The New York Times reported that both men are CIA officers. Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales also said that the two men had left the country after being wounded and without giving statements to investigators.
The Americans and a Mexican navy official were traveling in a Toyota SUV on a stretch of unpaved road en route to a navy installation at El Capulin mountain when they encountered “a vehicle whose occupants brandished guns,” the statement said.
The driver of the Toyota “maneuvered to get away and re-enter the highway, the moment in which the occupants of the aggressor vehicle opened fire on the diplomatic vehicle.”
Soon, according to the statement, “three other vehicles joined the pursuit and fired gunshots at the U.S. Embassy vehicle.”