Jan 24, 2012

Human Rights Violations: HRW demands that the next Mexican government review anti-crime strategy

La Jornada: "The organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), on Monday, called on the next government of Mexico to review its strategy against organized crime and drug cartels, which, in its view, increased violence and human rights abuses in the country. "It appears that the current strategy is not working," the Americas director for the organization ... José Miguel Vivanco, told a news conference in Washington.

The future government, which will be elected ... in July, has to ask itself if it should continue using the Army, currently deployed within the strategy of the government of Felipe Calderón, "against a problem which is political and judicial." Is the Army in a position ready to continue this fight? Or is it an entity that is not subordinate to civil authority? My opinion is the latter, said Vivanco.

In its global report released on Sunday, HRW reported serious human rights violations by Mexican military, along with great impunity in the face of these facts. The Military Attorney  opened 3,671 cases regarding possible abuses between 2007 and 2011, but there have been only 15 convictions, the organization highlighted .

Mexico's government, on Monday, rejected the accusations, assuring that the 50,000 soldiers deployed to combat organized crime do their work in strict compliance with the requirements of public safety.

Vivanco regretted that Mexico continues a general attitude of inflexibility, blindly going forward with a policy that pays off according to them, but according to all the figures shows that there is increasing violence and abuse at the same time.

He issued a challenge to the government of Mexico to explain how it can say that 95 percent of the nearly 50,000 people who have died from the violence of organized crime in the past five years are drug dealers, even though it has opened investigations in less than a thousand cases. The figure is minimal in relation to the severity and number of violations or abuses or murders that have occurred in the context of the fight against drug trafficking.

Nevertheless, he acknowledged that Mexico is a country open to human rights organizations, and related that recently he had a positive meeting with Calderon, who said he expects real and concrete changes in regard to human rights in the time that remains for his government." Spanish original

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