Monday, August 15, 2016
Mexican Officials Castigated anew
for Collusion with Crime Lords
By Tristan Clavel (InSight Crime)
Mexico will not be able to rein in runaway organized crime until it addresses the links between Mexican authorities
and criminal groups and ends impunity for those responsible for crimes against humanity, an international justice advocate
told the Guerrero State Congress.
Ina Zoon took the Open Society Foundation (OSF) Justice
Initiative's message to ground zero of Mexico's crime-fed security crisis on August 11. She presented the foundation's recent report on possible war crimes
by the Mexican government and the Zetas crime cartel to the Guerrero legislature, Proceso reported. Guerrero, home to the resort city of Acapulco, is one of the most violent places in Mexico.
State legislator Ricardo Mejía
Berdeja cited official statistics putting Guerrero's homicide rate at 67 per 100,000 residents, compared to the national
average of 17.
In her speech to
the state congress, Zoon cited the impunity enjoyed by officials who commit excesses in fighting crime and the collusion of
officials with criminal groups. She suggested that some high profile cases that have gone unresolved should be handled in
international tribunals. Family members of the 43 disappeared students of Iguala – a city in Guerrero – were present at the congressional event. The flawed investigation of that case has been characterized as an example of the consequences of "narcopolitics," or the corrupt ties
between officials and drug cartels.
The OSF report, entitled Undeniable Atrocities: Confronting Crimes Against Humanity in Mexico, was released in June 2016. It affirms that there is evidence that assassinations, torture and forced disappearances have been committed on a systemic,
large-scale level since the beginning of Mexico’s "war on drugs" in 2006.
Zoon argued that the government's militarized security strategy targeting criminal structures – currently
championed by the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto – is not enough to bring down high levels of
violence in Mexico; corrupt officials must also be targeted.
InSight Crime Analysis
Mexico has come under increasing international pressure for both human rights abuses in its war on crime and official
collusion with criminals. Just [last] week, 69 [Democratic Party] members of the US Congress signed an open letter addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry “to express concern about the ongoing human rights crisis in Mexico and the continuing lack of justice for thousands of victims.”
In June 2016, Amnesty
International detailed the extensive use of torture by security forces during investigations, including “sexual violence routinely used as torture to secure ‘confessions’
Military intervention in domestic security in Mexico has not only failed to control criminal violence, it may have proven counterproductive. Official corruption and the impunity it creates has also made matters worse. As Zoon noted, simply going after top criminals
is unlikely to stop Guerrero’s spiral into violence.
This commentary, "Mexico Authorities Under Renewed Heat for ‘Narcopolitics’ and Impunity," was
first published in InSight Crime, on Aug. 12, 2016 and reposted per a Creative Commons authorization. InSight Crime's objective
is to increase the level of research, analysis and investigation on organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean.