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AI: Mexico government tolerates torture by police and military forces

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy group] on Thursday criticized the Mexican government for its failure to adequately investigate allegations of torture [report, PDF]. According to the report, Mexican safeguards intended to prevent military and police forces from using torture as an investigative tool are woefully under-enforced, and many such practices are condoned, tolerated or ignored by other law enforcement officials, superior officers, prosecutors, judges and even local human rights commissions. The call for Mexico to enforce its own human rights laws echoes a call made by AI last year, urging the Mexican Senate to adopt legislation to protect against human rights violations [AI report] by the army and navy.

The Mexican government has been criticized by multiple groups in recent years for purported failures to investigate human rights abuses. In August Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] called on the Mexican government to investigate the killing of 22 civilians [JURIST report] by soldiers on June 30, following an alleged confrontation inside an empty warehouse in the municipality of Tlatlaya. All civilians involved in the incident were killed, while only one soldier was injured. Last year AI called on the Mexican government to investigate the disappearances [JURIST report] of thousands of people and acknowledge the government's involvement in the disappearances. AI's report stated 26,121 people were reported disappeared or missing between December 2006 and December 2012, but 40 percent of the cases were not investigated. The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns urged Mexico's government to better protect against human rights abuses [JURIST report], particularly with respect to the military's use of force against civilians. Earlier that year HRW reported that Mexican security forces have participated in widespread "disappearances" [JURIST report] in which individuals are taken against their will.

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