Key events in Mexico army slayings investigation

AP News
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Posted: Oct 01, 2014 3:01 PM

A timeline of official statements about slaying of 22 suspected gunmen by soldiers in rural Mexico:

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JUNE 30: A Mexican army patrol confronts a group of armed suspects at a half-finished grain warehouse in southern Mexico. The Mexican army issues a statement saying troops came under fire, returned fire and killed 21 men and one woman while freeing three kidnap victims being held inside the warehouse. One soldier was wounded. The army says prosecutors from Mexico State, where the killings occurred, were called to the scene to collect the bodies and evidence.

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JULY 1: Mexico State Gov. Eruviel Avila publicly thanks the army for its "bravery" and "firmness" in the confrontation.

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JULY 3: Associated Press reporters visit the warehouse where the shootings occurred. There are no signs of continuous shooting inside the building and at least five spots along the warehouse's inside walls show the same pattern: One or two closely placed bullet holes surrounded by a mass of spattered blood, giving the appearance that some of those killed were standing against the wall and were hit by one or two carefully placed shots at about chest level.

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JULY 15: The Mexico State government and prosecutors' office issues a statement saying that forensics tests and crime scene evidence show the suspects died in "an equal exchange of fire" and there is "no evidence at all of any possible execution."

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SEPT. 17-18: The Associated Press and Esquire Latinoamerica publish the testimony of a witness — one of the alleged kidnap victims — who says 21 of the suspects were executed by soldiers after they surrendered.

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SEPT 25: The army issues a statement saying seven soldiers and a lieutenant involved in the confrontation have been detained and taken to a military prison on charges of disobedience and dereliction of duty.

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SEPT. 27: Mexico's top security official, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, says "it is clear that this is just an isolated incident, and not the behavior of our great army."

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SEPT. 30: Federal prosecutors announce homicide charges against three of the soldiers. Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam says they had opened fire on the people inside the warehouse with "no justification whatsoever."