Mexico City - Mexican authorities have arrested 30 marines over their suspected involvement in forced disappearances in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo in 2014, the Navy said in a statement late on Monday. The Navy said the attorney general's office had ordered the arrests of the 30 marines, who were being deployed in "surveillance and deterrence" operations in Nuevo Laredo at the time of the alleged crimes during the previous administration.
Along with the Mexican Army, the Navy for years assumed a central role in the government's military-led crackdown on drug cartels, which was launched in late 2006. Their deployment led to frequent complaints of rights abuses by the armed forces, including forced disappearances. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December 2018, created a militarized police known as the National Guard to lead the fight against organized crime. The Navy statement did not go into detail about the alleged crimes in Nuevo Laredo, which was often racked by violent turf wars between drug cartels during the last government.