MEXICO CITY (AP) — Abuses by the Mexican military have surged since the government deployed troops to fight drug cartels more than two years ago, and too little is done to investigate allegations of rapes, killing and torture, a rights group said Thursday.
“The dysfunctional Mexican military justice system routinely takes over the investigation of even the most egregious abuses, including alleged rapes, killings, arbitrary detentions and torture,” said Juliette de Rivero, the Geneva advocacy director for the New York-based organization [Human Rights Watch].
In its own report to the council, the Mexican government denied it ignores abuses. “Mexico continues its prompt investigation of all allegations of human rights violations,” it said.
The statement said 14 military personnel had been convicted of abuses but provided no timeframe or details on the cases. The country’s Defense Department did not return calls seeking comment.
Tamara Taraciuk, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, said Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, an autonomous government agency, received 1,230 abuse complaints against the military in 2008 — a sevenfold increase from 182 cases in 2006.
War is hell. It is inevitable in war that human rights abuses will occur, from the killing of innocent civilians (“collateral damage”) to the more heinous acts of rape and torture. This is why we (should) only go to war as a last resort. Yet when it comes to marijuana and drugs, war is the first resort. Is it really worth 1,230 complaints of human rights abuse to try to futilely stop American adults from smoking weed?