Feb 13, 2012

Human Rights Violations: Mexican Bishop says: militarization of the nation is intended to intimidate

A Mexican bishop, in the state of Coahuila--where drug war violence is rampant--speaks out against the increasing militarization of the country and the National Security Law proposed by President Calderón, which is being debated in the Mexican Congress. Translated by CIP intern  Michael Kane.

La Jornada: "The terror implanted in the population, as well as the intimidation of human rights defenders, form part of the strategies applied to civil society thanks to the nation's militarization, said the bishop of Saltillo, Raúl Vera López.

After finishing mass in the cathedral in the capital of Coahuila, the priest indicated that the raid conducted by military forces and federal agents on the Juan Gerardi Human Rights Center in the city of Torreón is part of a scheme whose objective is to intimidate those who participate in civil organizations, who are working for the creation of civically oriented persons.

The bishop, who defends the causes of civic organizations, referred to the fact that the dispute against narco-trafficking over control of the state strikes at "other enemies." These "other enemies," he clarified are "those who are adversaries criticizing the government's security plan."

Thus, he explained, the raid conducted by military forces and federal agents on the Juan Gerardi Human Rights Center in Torreón--where cases of forced disappearances in Coahuila are handled--is a replica of what happened in the Bethlehem House of Migrants, in Saltillo, where human rights advocates were threated, or even in the raid in the same city, in which security forces raided the church where prisoners attended services.

"With the totally fascist intentions that exist regarding the National Security Law, all of this will eventually be allowed. What they're doing is now illegal, so the day they succeed in transforming the Constitution, it will be precisely with that law that it will be allowed. Today we can scream and protest, but tomorrow we will be able to do neither, because they will make that which is illegal constitutional," he concluded." Spanish original

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