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Latin America: Citing Human Rights Abuses, Mexican Official Calls for Pulling Army Out of Drug War

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Mexican army drug patrol
Mexico's top human rights official called last Friday for an end to the use of the Mexican Army in President Felipe Calderón's war against powerful drug trafficking organizations. The army has committed numerous human rights violations, he said, including rape, robbery, torture and murder.

José Luis Soberanes, head of the governmental National Human Rights Commission, made the call for the removal of the military from Mexico's bloody drug war -- more than 1,500 people have been killed so far this year -- as he released reports on four widely-publicized incidents of human rights abuses by the military. They are:

Soldiers are not trained for law enforcement, Soberanes said, and should be replaced by civilian police. "A policeman is trained to deal daily with citizens," Soberanes said, "and in necessary cases uses gradual and measured force. A soldier, because of the delicate nature of his task, is physically and mentally trained to fight enemies and obey orders."

Faced with escalating violence among drug trafficking organizations and between them and Mexican police, President Calderón deployed the military in various cities and states in the country beginning late last year. Thousands of troops were sent to Michoacán, Sinaloa, and other drug producing states.

Soberanes made his remarks as the US General Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report critical of US cooperation with Mexico to combat drug trafficking. That report, Drug Control: US Assistance Has Helped Mexican Counternarcotics Efforts, But Tons of Illicit Drugs Continue to Flow Into the United States, found that 90% of cocaine entering the US now comes through Mexico. While critical of corruption and lack of effort on the Mexican side, too, it praised Calderón for deploying the military in the battle against the drug trade.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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# 1 reason for legalization

I see many arguments in the DWC for legalization, but rarely do I see the # 1 reason: 'Adults have the right to ingest anything they want'. My body is MY property, not the property of the state.

Bush follows Lenin's advice.

Bush pushes for invading Iran, staying in Iraq and continuing the stupid war on drugs in spite fo the fact that Iran will be a flop if we invade, and the invasion of Iraq and the war on drugs are flops. He goes with the idea that "A lie told often enough becomes the truth.". No Bush didn't make that one up, Vladimir Lenin did. Bush is his own useful idiot,

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