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Friday, Aug. 18, 2012

3 Mexican service members convicted in killing of man at San Felipe in May, El Mexicano quotes military spokesman as saying

Official version, family's version of his detention radically differed

Three members of the Mexican military were convicted in the May 17 death of detainee Francisco Ismael "El Yei" Ortiz Wong at San Felipe, El Mexicano newspaper quoted a military spokesman as saying. The paper quoted Capt. Rafael Medina as saying three service members were subjects of a civilian proceeding in Mexico City for using excessive force that caused death of the detainee.

The official version of Ortiz Wong's death and his family's version radically differed. The official one said he died after running away from the military on a San Felipe street; the family said he was seized from his home in the middle of the night.

The paper said Miguel Ángel Guerrero, head of the homicide unit for the state attorney general's office, said Ortiz Wong was arrested on Mar Bermejo Sur street by a military patrol. The paper said Guerrero said that when Ortiz Wong was ordered to stop, he ran instead, but was caught and found in possession of 153 packets of "ice", 12 of heroín and four of crystal meth. After the suspect was placed in a military Hummer, Ortiz Wong began to have convulsions, and although paramedics were summoned, he died of bronchoaspiration, the paper quoted Guerrero as saying.

Ortiz Wong's family said members of the military kidnapped him while he slept next to his wife in their San Felipe home on Avenida Copales at 2:45 a.m. May 17. The family said some service members were masked, and that one service member involved was named "El Malandro." The family said the military broke down the home's doors despite not having a search warrant, and struck Ortiz Wong in front of the wife and their 8-year-old child before taking off with him. The wife said that no drugs were found, and that the military drove off in a Windstar and a Hummer. She said he was informed of his death at 3:15.

She said Ortiz Wong worked with fishermen in the port.

Story, El Mexicano.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
El Mexicano's May story on the death. La Crónica's May story on the death.

Last month's University of San Diego Trans-Border Institute report on the Mexican military, "Armed with Impunity."