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WashPost: Human rights are collateral damage in the Drug War

Mexico Accused of Torture in Drug War; Army Using Brutality To Fight Trafficking, Rights Groups Say

An excerpt from the article: PUERTO LAS OLLAS, Mexico — The Mexican army has carried out forced disappearances, acts of torture and illegal raids in pursuit of drug traffickers, according to documents and interviews with victims, their families, political leaders and human rights monitors.

Mexican security forces have long had a spotty human rights record, but the growing number of abuse allegations appears to be a direct response to the savagery unleashed by the cartels after President Felipe Calderón put the military in charge of the drug war in December 2006. Most of the violations have occurred in regions where the sight of dismembered bodies of soldiers and police is remarkably common. In the state of Michoacán, investigators with the government’s National Human Rights Commission concluded that the army committed abuses against 65 people over three days — including several cases of torture and the rape of two girls — after five soldiers were killed in an attack in May 2007.

In many of the country’s most conflicted regions, the army has raided private homes without search warrants, detaining people it considers suspects and holding them on military bases in violation of Mexican law, according to political leaders, residents and human rights monitors. In Ciudad Juárez, a hotbed of drug violence across the border from El Paso, the state human rights commission received about 100 complaints of torture from January 2008 through February 2009, according to a seven-page report prepared by Gustavo de la Rosa, who directs the office.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

July 13, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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