With an estimated 45,000 dead in Mexico’s drug-related violence, and a growing number of those civilian casualties, human rights activists think it’s time for the Hague to step in. A petition signed by 23,000 citizens asks the International Criminal Court to investigate President Felipe Calderon, top officials, and the country’s most-wanted drug lord over the torture, kidnapping, and murder of civilians at the hands of drug cartels and security forces. A Human Rights Watch report from last month accused the Mexican police and military of being involved in killings, disappearances, and torture, the BBC notes.
“The violence in Mexico is bigger than the violence in Afghanistan, and bigger than the violence in Colombia,” the lawyer who filed the complaint tells Reuters. “We want the prosecutor to tell us if war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Mexico, and if the president and other top officials are responsible.” But the Mexican government denies crimes against humanity, and has said its security policy cannot be “considered an international crime.” The office of the ICC prosecutor said it will look into the matter, but a decision could take months or years.