MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s government said on Thursday it would compensate relatives of 15 people executed by soldiers last year, a scandal that embarrassed President Enrique Pena Nieto and shone a light on human rights abuses by the military.
The government said it would divide 50 million pesos ($3.31 million) between 13 families over the killings last June in Tlatlaya, on the southern fringes of the State of Mexico.
“We’ve already made the first payment to the first family,” said Jaime Rochin, president of the Executive Commission for Support for Victims (CEAV).
He said the agency, established to attend to victims of organized crime, would pay more families this week.
In November, three soldiers were charged with murder. Of the 22 people killed, two have not yet been identified, and five were judged not to have been killed in an extrajudicial manner.
The mass killing is one of a number of security issues that have upset Pena Nieto’s efforts to shift attention onto his economic reforms and away from endemic gang violence that has claimed more than 100,000 lives since 2007.
Last September, 43 student teachers were abducted from a town in the poor southwestern state of Guerrero. The government says the students were abducted by corrupt police who handed them over to gang members who then killed them and burned their bodies.
Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Grant McCool