Wed, Feb 11, 2009 - Page 7 News List

Amnesty criticizes submission to UN

AP , MEXICO CITY

Amnesty International said on Monday that Mexico glossed over human rights problems in its annual report to the UN Human Rights Council, adding to criticism of President Felipe Calderon’s army offensive against drug cartels.

Amnesty said the report does not recognize the government’s failure to solve a “worsening human rights climate in many parts of the country.”

Mexican officials said they could not immediately comment on the Amnesty statement, but the government report acknowledged that the country needs to clean up and professionalize its police forces.

Since taking office in December 2006, Calderon has dispatched tens of thousands of troops to fight warring drug gangs. Amnesty said those troops were implicated in 50 alleged incidents of unlawful killings, rape, torture and arbitrary detention between January 2007 and last June.

Mexico has instituted new procedures for training and screening police, but the government reported in November that almost half of the country’s 375,000 police officers failed security, psychological or background tests.

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