Mexican Troops Accused in Drug War Deaths

Military responsible for deaths of 13 unarmed citizens
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jun 29, 2008 9:42 PM CDT
Mexican army soldiers run during a gun battle with drug traffickers in the city of Apatzingan, Mexico, May 7, 2007.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mexicans increasingly accuse state troops of beating and murdering innocents on their mission to curb violent drug cartels, Time reports. Since the state assigned 25,000 soldiers to fight drug-runners 2 years ago, troops have killed at least 13 unarmed people—while traffickers have added 1,800 more to the tally. "These soldiers are idiots," a witness to a shooting said. "What protection do they give us?"

With this in mind, a group of US lawmakers wants a $1.6-billion aid package for fighting the drug gangs to be tied to guarantees by Mexico's government to fight corruption and human rights abuses—a move some Mexicans say infringes on their sovereignty. Meanwhile, Mexico is trying soldiers suspected of murder in military court, which one critic has called a joke. "Do you think there can be justice inside these same armed forces that are carrying out the atrocities?"