Mexico’s defence secretary formally apologised to the country on Saturday for a video-recorded incident of torture involving two soldiers and a federal police officer.

Gen Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda addressed a sea of green-uniformed soldiers in a televised address that illustrated just how damaging the torture video has been for the institution.

“In the name of all who make up this great institution, I offer a sincere apology to all of society offended by this unacceptable event,” said Gen Cienfuegos. He urged soldiers and citizens to come forward to report other abuses.

Torture by police and armed forces has long been criticised as a far too common technique for extracting information or confessions from suspects.

But the video of a young woman having a rifle muzzle pressed to her head by a female military police officer and having a plastic bag placed over her head by a female federal police officer has stirred outrage.

The incident occurred in February last year, in Ajuchitlan del Progreso in the southern state of Guerrero. The state has seen a massive deployment of soldiers and federal police to battle the drug cartels.

Source: Mexico’s defence secretary apologises after torture video provokes outrage