Mexico plans harsher punishments for drug crimes

December 31st, 2008 - 8:00 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, Dec 31 (Prensa Latina) Mexico will introduce harsher punishments to take on the country’s organised drug cartels as well as government officials having links with the underworld, officials said.The Secretariat of National Defence (SEDENA), responsible for the country’s security, has proposed to increase prison term up to 60 years, for former or serving officers in the army and the police accused of links with the underworld.

The Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies Board of Directors, Cesar Duarte, expressed his backing on the new proposal. “This measure is adequate in the context of violence witnessed in the country,” said Duarte, a legislator of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party.

In the past, many army and police officers had been accused of links with the drug cartels, and cases of officers being killed by the drug mafia have also been on the rise, officials said.

National Human Rights Commission President Jose Luis Soberanes said the current security model is not adequate to carry out specialised operations against the country’s drug mafia.

Each year hundreds of people, including security officials, are killed in drug related violence in Mexico.

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