Violence Plummets as Mexican Army Polices Juárez

But human rights violations said to be rampant
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 21, 2009 8:49 AM CDT
A couple walks past a soldier on patrol in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on Sunday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Since Mexico’s army took over for police in the drug haven of Ciudad Juárez, killings have dropped: In 2009’s first two months, there were 434 drug-related murders. In March, 5,000 troops arrived—and murders plummeted to 51, the Washington Post reports. With 10,000 soldiers now on the streets, “it’s the safest city in Mexico,” said a former military man who now runs a police station.

But some say the price of the relative peace has been human rights. Many detainees say the army held them for days instead of immediately handing them to local officials—and most say they were beaten. “The army has turned Juárez into an occupied city in which all citizens are presumed to be drug traffickers,” said the state human-rights commissioner.