Mexican Human Rights Group asks ICC to probe President and Top Officials

Publication date: 25 November 2011

Reuters reported that a group of human rights activists have requested the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open a formal investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Mexico.

They are asking the world's first permanent war crimes court to investigate "the deaths of hundreds of civilians at the hands of the military and drug traffickers in Mexico, where more than 45,000 have died in drug-related violence since 2006."

Netzai Sandoval, Mexican human rights lawyer and member of the group that filed the complaint to the ICC, told Reuters: "We want the prosecutor to tell us if war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Mexico, and if the president and other top officials are responsible."

The petition, signed by 23,000 Mexican citizens, also calls for an investigation on the responsibility of Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, Public Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna, and Mexico's army and navy commanders.

President Calderon has deployed 50,000 troops throughout the country since 2006, while the "federal police have swelled from 6,000 to 35,000."

Human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have documented systematic violations of citizens. According to a report published this November, HRW has documented evidence of 170 cases of torture, 24 extrajudicial killings and 39 forced disappearances in five Mexican states.

The Mexican government denies the complaint arguing that security policy issues cannot constitute an international crime.

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