Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mexican Soldiers Accused of Killing US Citizen in Matamoros

Innocent Bystander Lizbeth Marin Garcia Was Shot While Sitting in a Friend's Living Room

By Julio Manuel L. Guzman, El Universal
Translated for Narco News by Kristin Bricker

Matamoros, Tamaulipas. A bullet allegedly shot by members of the Mexican military took the life of a US citizen as she rested in the living room of a house located in a downtown neighborhood in Matamoros.

The incident occurred after 11pm this past Friday in the Roberto F. Garcia neighborhood, and the victim was identified as 36-year-old Lizbeth Marin Garcia. She resided in Brownsville and worked for Penske in Harlingen, Texas.

According to witnesses, the Mexican military was carrying out an operation and had closed several sections of Primera, JS del Cano, and Solernau streets.

Mrs. Samira Gonzalez Escandon, friend of the deceased, stated that her mother, Guillermina Escandon de Gonzalez, was in her home watching the military action that ended in the arrest of several people. "The soldiers were already leaving, and one of them, as he was getting into a Hummer, let loose a stray shot that hit the window of my house. At the same time, a cry of pain was heard, and a soldier yelled, 'Fucking hell, let's get out of here.'"

She said that when she entered her house she saw Lizbeth lying on the floor crying for help. They sent her to Pumarejo Hospital, but she was pronounced dead on arrival. The bullet hit her in the right humerus, and there was no exit wound.

"They've got to put a stop to this already. The soldiers are killing innocent people and aren't held accountable for their actions. We need something to be done. My friend is dead, and they just wash their hands of the whole thing, just like what happens with other murders of innocent people," she said.

With sadness on her face, Samira remembered the murder of two innocent people, allegedly killed by Mexican authorities' bullets. One of them is the death of a young woman from the India neighborhood, and more recently, a middle school student who died from a gunshot to the head while he was exercising in front of Televisa.

It turns out that the two people detained in the operation [that resulted in Marin Garcia's death] were freed hours later. They were severely beaten.

One of them says that his name is Aurelio Peña Perez. He is 42 years old and words in construction. He says that he was going with his friends to buy beer when they saw that several vehicles full of soldiers were pursuing them.

"We got frightened and we sped up, but at the intersection of Primera and Solernau streets we hit a fence. I lost consciousness and I woke up handcuffed in a military truck. They kicked us, and after driving us around and interrogating us, they left us in different parts of the city."

The victim's family says that they will file a formal complaint with the District Attorney's Office against the soldiers who participated in the operation.

The State Ministerial Police's Chief of the Homicide Division, Guadalupe Zavala, confirmed that an official from the United States Consulate met with him to request all information about the case and to begin pertinent actions.

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