An investigation has been launched into what Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has described as an “execution,” after a video circulating on local media appeared to show Mexican army personnel dragging men in civilian clothing out of a car, beating them, and then engaging in a shootout.
“Apparently, there was an execution, which cannot be allowed. We are not the same as the previous governments. So, when there is abuse, when there is an excess, when human rights are violated, those responsible must be punished. And the process to deepen the investigation has already begun,” Lopez Obrador said during a press conference on Wednesday.
He added, “there is no cover-up because we do not tolerate the violation of human rights.”
CNNE obtained 32 minutes of footage from the video, of which 20 minutes are unedited. CNN has not been able to verify the source of the material independently.
The footage shows a black car speeding off the road onto an unpaved area, then crashing into a fence. Less than a minute later, a Mexican Army vehicle is seen pulling up to the crashed vehicle.
Men in military clothing are then seen opening the vehicle’s doors, dragging people out, pushing them to the ground, and kicking and hitting them. They are also seen removing items from the vehicle, including what appears to be a gun.
About five minutes into the video, the uniformed men line the others up against the fence, as the army vehicle retreats. Minutes later, the uniformed men are seen next to the black vehicle shooting into the bushes in the distance, though it is unclear who or what they are shooting at.
Clouds of dirt could also be seen from that direction before they began firing, potentially indicating shots coming toward the scene from afar.
Further into the video, two uniformed men are seen pointing a gun at one of the men who was dragged out of the vehicle, who is seen attempting to crawl away. The man in civilian clothing is then seen rolling over and collapsing; he does not appear to move for the remainder of the video.
A uniformed man then appears to grab what looks like a gun with a rag and place it at the scene.
CNN has reached out to Mexico’s military regarding what was seen in the video.
In a report leaked to CNN, the country’s military alleged that the people in the truck that crashed had been trying to avoid police, and that its members saw the people carrying “military” equipment, which had the stamp of Cartel del Noreste on them.
One of the passengers in the vehicle was injured and being given medical attention, according to the report, when the military was attacked by “people trying to save the individuals in the truck.”
Shots were coming from all directions, it said, adding that the military members told the truck’s passengers to take cover, but they attempted to recover their weapons instead.
Following the alleged shootout, the soldiers saw that four people did not have vital signs and one was in critical condition, it also said. CNN cannot independently verify the claims in the report.