Security forces in Mexico are using torture and forced disappearances and other human right violations in order to fight back against the drug cartel in Mexico. There is evidence Mexican police and armed forces were involved in 170 cases of torture, 24 extrajudicial killings and 39 forced disappearances since the government launched a war on drug gangs in late 2006, the rights group said a Human Right Watch report. Since Felipe Calderon took over the office of the president in December 2006 he has been sending the Mexican armed forces to take on the drug cartels rather than allowing the police forces to handle it.
More than 45,000 people have died in the conflict so far. Since becoming president Calderon has pumped up the public security ministry’s budget threefold, growing federal police ranks from 6,000 agents to 35,000 now. But the results have not met the government’s hopes, and reports of abuses are rising.
The findings in the new report are based on public information requests and interviews with over 200 civilians and government officials in five states in Mexico. The study details a number of instances in which individuals were detained abruptly by security forces, tortured and forced to sign confessions in which they admitted to participating in drug trafficking, homicides and kidnappings.
However, President Calderon issued a statement stating that the criminal pose the greatest threat to human rights violations, not the security forces. His office said. The government is therefore ethically and legally obliged to use every means at its disposal, under the principal of joint responsibility, to reinforce the presence of authorities in communities with the highest incidence of gang rivalry.
Report by Adhir Roy Chowdury