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
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)

(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.

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