Widespread human rights violations in Mexico: Amnesty

May 29th, 2008 - 1:56 pm ICT by admin  


London, May 29 (IANS) Amnesty International has accused Mexico of widespread human rights violations and said those responsible have not been brought to book, Spain’s EFE news agency reported Thursday. In its latest State of World’s Human Rights report, the rights body said Mexico has arbitrarily detained, tortured and killed people in its fight against the country’s criminal gangs, the agency said Wednesday.

Amnesty noted that, shortly after taking office in December 2006, President Felipe Calderon launched a massive crackdown on the criminal gangs responsible for more than 2,500 killings in 2007.

Around 20,000 soldiers were deployed in various states where they have arbitrarily detained, tortured and killed people during operations, it said.

US lawmakers recently approved a Bush administration plan, called Merida Initiative, to provide more than $1 billion in security and criminal justice assistance to Mexico and Central America over three years.

Investigations into the allegations of arbitrary arrests, torture and other abuses by security forces have yielded no results, the report said.

In 2007 alone, more than 25 women have died in different incidents. Hundreds of murders involving women and girls over the past 15 years have not been solved.

Journalists who report on drug trafficking and corruption have been targeted and at least six mediapersons were killed and three kidnapped in the recent past.

Human rights defenders “continue to face attack, threats and harassments in an apparent reprisal for their work”, the Britain-based NGO said.

Mexican authorities even used the criminal justice system to “persecute social activists and political opponents who were subjected to prolonged arbitrary detention and unfair legal proceedings,” Amnesty said.

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