Mexican authorities and a feared gang have committed “crimes against humanity” during the nation’s decade-long drug war, a US-based nongovernmental organization said on Monday.
A report by the Open Society Justice Initiative, which seeks to combat human rights abuses around the world, said more than 150,000 people were “murdered intentionally” and thousands more disappeared between 2006 and last year.
The New York-based organization found “reasonable grounds” to conclude that crimes against humanity were committed by “state and non-state actors,” namely the Zetas drug cartel.
The report said Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government “must act without delay to recognize the gravity of the situation.”
The Justice Initiative said the goal of the report is not for the International Criminal Court to take up the cases.
Rather, the objective “is for the authors of these atrocious crimes to be tried with all the weight of the law, independently of their origin, in their own jurisdiction,” it added.
However, the report said the international tribunal should remain an option “if Mexico systematically continues to not investigate and try atrocious crimes.”
A government statement said that in the “exceptional cases” that local or federal officials have violated human rights, they have been put on trial and sentenced.
“The immense majority of violent crimes have been committed by criminal organizations,” it said.
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