In at least the third case this year, Mexican soldiers have been implicated in killing an innocent bystander; this time it was a 32-year old New York native. Joseph Proctor was living a quiet living in a beach town outside of Acapulco, when he was gunned down by a Mexican army patrol.
The family was initially told that Proctor brought the death on himself when he engaged in a gun battle, on August 22nd, with troops patrolling highway’s trying to quell drug cartel violence. After the family investigated and with the help of U.S. embassy officials it was discovered Proctor was accidentally shot and evidence planted to make him look guilty of his own death.
The Mexican military is overwhelmed and in many cases outgunned as they fight a vicious battle with the country’s drug cartels. There have been two other documented incidents when innocent bystanders were killed. In the first incident, two Mexican college students were killed when a gun battle spilled onto a Monterrey college campus. Mexican soldiers in that case also tried to change evidence to disavow themselves of the shooting.
Most recently two Mexican brothers, age 5 and 9 were killed in the family car as it entered a heavily militarized zone, the shooting is still under investigation. There have been over 4,000 abuse complaints against the Mexican military since 2006 when President Felipe Calderon started his war on the drug cartels.