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  • Mexican Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos reads out a public apology before 26,000 soldiers assembled at a military base in Mexico City on April 16, 2016.

    Mexican Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos reads out a public apology before 26,000 soldiers assembled at a military base in Mexico City on April 16, 2016. | Photo: AFP

Published 16 April 2016

A viral video showing the torture of a civilan woman has motivated the Mexican army to publicly apologize. 

The Mexican army made a rare public apology on Saturday over a scandal in which two soldiers and a policewoman tortured a terrified woman in a video that went viral.

Related: Mexican Soldiers Tortured Woman in Leaked Video

General Salvador Cienfuegos, the defense minister, read out the apology before 26,000 soldiers assembled at a military base in Mexico City. "In the name of all of us who make up this great national institution, I offer my heartfelt apology to all in society wronged by this impermissible event," he said.

In the video, which went viral on social media this week, a barefoot woman is seen crying and screaming on the floor as a female soldier puts the muzzle of an assault rifle to her head.

A federal policewoman is then seen handcuffing the woman and proceeding to tightly wrap a plastic bag around her head while one of the officials demands threateningly: "Are you going to talk?"

The incident is reported to have taken place in February 2015 in the town of Ajuchitlan del Progreso, in the southern state of Guerrero.

The defense ministry says it only learned of the video in December.

The Mexican state in a drug war that has left over 100,000 dead,  tens of thousands disappeared, and widespread reports of torture. The Mexican government's human rights record is one of the worst in the hemisphere.

Cienfuegos told the soldiers they would continue to be on the frontlines of Mexico's war against drug cartels.

But he stressed: "We must not, nor cannot, confront illegality with more illegality. Crime is contained with the law in hand."


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