WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
9 Jul 2009 | News

Washington Post Article Highlights Abuses by Mexican Military in Drug War

WOLA highlights the July 9 Washington Post article “Mexico Accused of Torture in the Drug War: Army Using Brutality to Fight Trafficking, Rights Groups Say” which underscores the disturbing trend of the Mexican army carrying out forced disappearances, acts of torture, rape and illegal raids in pursuit of drug traffickers, as documented through interviews with victims, their families, political officials and human rights monitors.  The growing number of military abuses is illustrated by amount of complaints received by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).  During the first six months of 2009 the CNDH received over 2,000 complaints against the army, a dramatic increase from the 1,231 registered for all of 2008. 

In the upcoming weeks, the U.S. State Department will deliver to Congress a report including information on Mexico’s efforts to improve police transparency and accountability, ensure investigations into human rights abuses by the federal police and military, consult with civil society on the implementation of the “Merida Initiative” and enforce the prohibition of testimony obtained through torture.  This information is obligated by requirements included in the first two tranches of U.S. security assistance package to Mexico, the “Merida Initiative,” where fifteen percent of the counter-narcotics and military funds allocated to Mexico cannot be released until Congress accepts the State Department’s findings.

WOLA believes that Congress should carefully examine this report and other documentation regarding the lack of accountability for abuses perpetrated by the Mexican army, such as those detailed in this article, when considering release of these funds. 

To read the full article, click here