Court Is Asked to Probe Possibility of Calderon War Crimes in Drug Crackdown
Mexican human rights activists have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate President Felipe Calderon, senior Mexican officials and the country’s most-wanted drug kingpin for allegedly overseeing the capture, torture and killing of civilians in violence surrounding drug trafficking and the government’s effort to suppress that illegal trade.
More than 45,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since Calderon assumed office in late 2006. An ICC decision on whether to investigate could take months or even years, legal experts say.
“We want the [ICC] prosecutor to tell us if war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Mexico, and if the president and other top officials are responsible,” said the human rights lawyer who filed the complaint with the ICC on Friday. –ARK
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Activists say Caldéron has systematically allowed Mexican troops to commit abuses against civilians since the military was deployed to fight drug traffickers in 2006. More than 50,000 soldiers are battling cartels around the country, while the ranks of federal police have swelled from 6,000 to 35,000 under Caldéron’s watch.
A Human Rights Watch report said there was evidence Mexican police and soldiers were involved in 170 cases of torture, 24 murders and 39 forced disappearances in five Mexican states. “We have known for five years that the Mexican army is committing sexual abuse, executing people, torturing people and kidnapping, and there have been no sanctions,” [Netzai] Sandoval [a Mexican human rights lawyer] said.
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