Our Opinion: A bold admission

June 28, 2002

Mexico has long been a friend to the United States.

And no one is better at seeing the flaws of another than a friend.

Our friends in Mexico have not exactly been reluctant over the years to point out our flaws, nor us theirs.

And one problem Mexico has had over the years is passing the buck or otherwise not taking the blame when it should. It is easy to blame the big, bad United States for many of our shared problems, but in a lot of cases it is not our fault or is the fault of both nations.

With that history, it is encouraging to see Mexico, specifically Baja California Attorney General Raul Ramirez Baena, saying the evidence points to Mexican soldiers as the ones who on June 13 opened fire on a sport-utility vehicle carrying 23 illegal immigrants and heading toward the United States. It is particularly bold because most of the people violated and/or injured by the shootings were not Mexican but Salvadorans we assume were in Mexico illegally.


Ramirez's gutsy action during a press conference Wednesday may not play well in certain Blame America segments of Mexico, but he has shown he is more dedicated to the truth than political gain. The casings and bullets found at the shooting scene, east of Mexicali and three miles into Mexico, are of a type particular to the Mexican Army, and according to Ramirez, that likely shows that the Mexican army was responsible for the shootings, which wounded three Salvadorans.

An easy way out of the mess for the Mexican government would have been for Ramirez to continue giving credence to the earlier story that the undocumented immigrant group had shot at the soldiers first, but Ramirez said there was no evidence that the immigrants had done any shooting.

Such forthrightness, on both sides of the border on all issues, will only serve to strengthen our long friendship with Mexico.

Mexico has said it will take over the case and try its best to find and prosecute the guilty parties. Considering that Raul Ramirez Baena will be involved in that probe, we have more confidence justice will prevail.

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