Mexican security forces have committed crimes against humanity, with mass disappearances and extrajudicial killings rife during the country’s decade-long drug war, according to a report released by rights groups. The 232-page report, published by the Open Society Justice Initiative and five other human rights organisations, warned that the International Criminal Court could eventually take up a case against Mexico’s security forces unless crimes were prosecuted domestically. “We have concluded that there are reasonable grounds to believe there are both state and non-state actors who have committed crimes against humanity in Mexico,” the report said.
Resorting to criminal actions in the fight against crime continues to be a contradiction, one that tragically undermines the rule of law.
Consistent human rights abuses — including those committed by members of the Zetas drug cartel— satisfied the definition of crimes against humanity, the report said. The authors recommended that Mexico accept an international commission to investigate human rights abuses. Mexico’s drug war has resulted in the most violent period in the country’s modern history, with more than 150,000 people killed since 2006. The unresolved 2014 kidnapping and apparent killing of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teacher-training college was one of the most high-profile cases to have damaged Mexico’s reputation. The report was based on documents and interviews over a nine-year period from 2006 to 2015.