Report Bashes Mexico for 20K+ Who 'Disappeared'

Human Rights Watch slams gov't for kidnappings, corruption

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 21, 2013 11:24 AM CST

(Newser) – With upwards of 20,000 people having disappeared during the six-year presidency of Felipe Calderón, which ended Dec. 1, human rights observers are slamming the Mexican police and military for its corruption and brutality, reports the Los Angeles Times. Many of those disappeared were taken by Mexico's notorious drug gangs, but the national police, local police, and military have all also been accused of abuses, failing to investigate disappearances, and often blaming the victims. "The result was the most severe crisis of enforced disappearances in Latin America in decades," said the report by Human Rights Watch.

In several cases, the authorities even kidnapped people and turned them over to local drug lords. The naval special forces were documented as taking 20 people around the country in a coordinated campaign in June and July 2011; their whereabouts are still unknown. "At least when your loved one dies, you know where they are, what happened, you can eventually get used to it," said the wife of one man who disappeared. "We do not know what monster we are fighting."

FILE - In this May 9, 2012 file photo, people hold photographs of their relatives who went missing during a protest that is part of the campaign "March of National Dignity. Mothers searching their sons...   (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini, File)
FILE - In this May 10, 2012, file photo, a banner shows ink drawings of missing people at the National March for Dignity on the day Mexicans celebrate el Dia de La Madre, or Mother's Day, in Mexico City....   (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini, file)
In this Oct. 28, 2012 file photo, a member of a caravan of Central American mothers hold a photograph of her disappeared child during a Mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The sign reads...   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, file)
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