ARCELIA, Mexico — A woman says she saw Mexican soldiers shoot and kill her 15-year-old daughter after a confrontation with a suspected drug gang even though the teenager was lying wounded on the ground.
Twenty others also were shot and killed in the rural southern Mexico are after they surrendered and were disarmed, the mother told The Associated Press. That would bring the total to 21 killed.
The Mexican government has maintained that all died during a fierce shootout when soldiers were fired on in the early morning of June 30.
That version came into question because government troops suffered only one wounded, and physical evidence at the scene pointed toward more selective killings.
The witness said the army fired first at the armed group holed up at the warehouse. She said one gunman died in the initial shootout, and another gang member and her daughter were wounded.
The rest of the gunmen surrendered on the promise they would not be hurt, she said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
After the gang surrendered, the girl, Erika Gomez Gonzalez, lay face down in the ground, a bullet wound in her leg.
Soldiers rolled her over while she was still alive and shot her more than half a dozen times in the chest, her mother said.
Another suspected gang member was injured in the initial attack. “A soldier stood the kid up and killed him,” said the witness, who said she had gone to the warehouse the night before to try to retrieve her daughter from the gang she had apparently joined.
According to Erika’s mother, the shootout was initiated by the army, a violation of its own rules of engagement, which allow soldiers to fire on armed civilians only if the civilians fire first, and if soldiers’ or civilians’ lives are in danger.
The army did not respond to requests for comment.