Sunday, April 3, 2011

UN urges the Government of Mexico to withdraw the army from the streets

The working group of the UN on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has asked the Mexican Government to consider "in the short term" withdrawal of military forces in public security operations. The experts base their request on a large number complaints against military forces and have in advance that this recommendation is part of a preliminary report and the final text will be released in 2012.

After a visit to Mexico, the panel noted in the preliminary report that enforced disappearances in the country have happened in the past "and continue to occur today." "The logic of the army and the police are different and therefore the military operations undertaken in the context of public safety should be strictly restricted and monitored properly," says the document WGEID.

Added that military personnel are not trained to perform activities of police or interact with civilians. In its 14-day visit to the country from 18 to this 31 March, the Working Group received various information about the number of forced disappearances, while civic groups raise to 3,000 cases since 2006, the National Human Rights Commission ( NHRC) said that it has gone from 4 complaints in 2006 to 77 last year.

"It is not surprising that the number of complaints (for violations of human rights) received by the NHRC related to the Secretariat of National Defense has increased from 182 in 2006 to 1,230 in 2008," the statement said. The government of President Felipe Calderon, whose term began in 2006 and concluded in November 2012, established as a central strategy to combat organized crime, particularly drug trafficking, deploying thousands of soldiers and federal agents across the country.

In response to the recommendation of the UN commission, the Mexican government has said that "carefully consider the comments of the Working Group for implementation." On the performance of the Army in combating drug trafficking, the ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs have said in a statement that the escalation of violence generated by organized crime forced the Government to use armed forces to "participate in a a subsidiary, temporary and specific regions of the country.

" The Working Group, composed of Dzumhur Jasmine, Ariel and Osman Dulitzky Hajj, has stated that his proposal to withdraw from the Mexican Army in the "short term" public safety actions understands that it must be an orderly manner so that the Police ensure security in areas where it has been deployed.

The experts have visited these days in Mexico City, Chihuahua and Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua), Acapulco, Atoyac de Alvarez and Chilpancingo (Guerrero), and Saltillo (Coahuila). During his stay have found that "there is no comprehensive public policy to address various aspects of prevention, investigation, punishment and reparation for victims of enforced disappearances." In addition, "seems not be a vertical and horizontal coordination among federal, local and municipal, nor between the authorities of the same level of government" to deal with this crime, which otherwise is only categorized as such in seven of the 32 states.

And that in his view contributed to impunity. Over the period of 'Dirty War' (repression against activists and leftist guerrillas between 1960-1980), and clarified that the NHRC investigated 532 cases of alleged disappearances and concluded that 275 is shown to exist in the disappearance.

Other sources indicate that in this period was between 797 (Prosecution of Crimes of the Past, now defunct) and 1,350 cases. The Working Group of the UN has indicated that the population vulnerable to this crime are women, children, immigrants, journalists, union activists and human rights defenders.

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