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U.S. Drug War Funding Supports Human Rights Violations in Mexico

Submitted by smorgan on
Only a month after President Bush signed a $465 million drug war aid package for Mexico, we're learning more about the types of brutal activities our tax dollars will be paying for:

OJINAGA, Mexico (AP) — This hardscrabble Mexican border town welcomed 400 soldiers when they arrived four months ago to stop a wave of drug violence that brought daytime gunbattles to its main street.

But then the soldiers themselves turned violent, townspeople say, ransacking homes and even torturing people.

The frustration boiled over this week. More than 1,000 people marched through the streets carrying signs begging President Felipe Calderon for protection from his own troops.

Unsurprisingly, the Mexican government was quick to make light of the growing problem:

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission says it has documented more than 600 cases of abuse since Calderon sent 20,000 soldiers across the nation to take back territory controlled by drug lords.

Mexico's attorney general argues the cases are isolated incidents.

Unfortunately, human rights violations in the war on drugs are anything but isolated. They are endemic and inevitable. Horrible stories of misconduct emerge wherever drug laws are enforced. You can count on that, just as you can count on the people responsible for preventing such abuses to dismiss them and defend the policies under which they proliferate.

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