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Rights groups call on ICC to investigate Mexico authorities for crimes against humanity

[JURIST] Several organizations presented a report [text, PDF] Monday to the Office of the Prosecutor [official website] of the International Criminal Court (ICC) concerning crimes against humanity committed from 2008-2010 by the Mexican Army during a joint operation known as the Joint Chihuahua Operation (OCCH).

The report outlines the murders, torture, sexual violence and forced disappearances of more than 121 victims committed by the Mexican military in the region of Chihuahua, Mexico that "have still not been investigated, prosecuted, or punished" by the ICC.

"These crimes constitute crimes against humanity falling under the jurisdiction of [the ICC], because of their systematic nature and because they were carried out through regular patterns of action that confirm their organized nature."

Signatory organizations include the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) [official website], Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights [official website], Paso del Norte Human Rights Center [official website], and the National Civil Human Rights Organizations Network "All Rights for All."

According to an FIDH statement [press release]:

Members of the armed forces who took part in the security policy to fight criminal organisations (the war against drugs), with the knowledge of the highest civil and military commands, committed crimes against humanity in the form of murders, torture, grave deprivation of physical liberty, rape, sexual violence, and forced disappearances. The documented cases reveal the existence of a clear organised policy by the authorities against the civilian population. Similarly, the cases demonstrate the use of public resources to commit the crimes, such as, for example, military vehicles to arbitrarily detain citizens, the use of military facilities as premises for torturing the civilian population, and the participation of military medical personnel in these torture practices.
They call upon the ICC in particular to conduct an analysis of the information released in the report, and undertake a visit "regarding the investigation, prosecution, and punishment by the Mexican criminal system of military personnel and high-ranking individuals responsible" for the crimes committed during the OCCH.

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