Mexican Army Slammed for Drug War Torture

US holds up aid until Mexico can 'pass' human rights investigation

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 9, 2009 3:26 AM CDT

(Newser) – A growing body of evidence points to widespread human rights abuses by the Mexican military in its battle against drug cartels, the Washington Post reports. Human rights groups say the army has responded to the traffickers' brutal tactics with equal brutality, carrying out deadly campaigns of "disappearances," forced confessions, torture, and rape in regions where the cartels are active.

The Mexican government acknowledges that abuses have occurred, but officials insist they are isolated cases. The country's human rights commission is looking into over 2,000 complaints of abuses by the military and has confirmed numerous cases of torture. Congress is holding back $90 million in counter-narcotics aid to Mexico until a State Department human rights report is delivered.

A federal police officer stands guard at the crime scene where a woman was killed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, earlier this year.
A federal police officer stands guard at the crime scene where a woman was killed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Alleged members of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel are escorted by federal agents after being presented to the media in Mexico City last month.
Alleged members of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel are escorted by federal agents after being presented to the media in Mexico City last month.   (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)
Federal police officers stand guard near a crime scene where two bodies where found in Tijuana, Mexico, last month.
Federal police officers stand guard near a crime scene where two bodies where found in Tijuana, Mexico, last month.   (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)
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It really takes a lot of cynicism, a lot of hypocrisy, for the United States to say, 'We will give you money to fight drug trafficking as long as you respect human rights.' - José Raymundo Díaz Taboada, director of the Acapulco office of the Collective Against Torture and Impunity

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