Home Headlines 29,000 Mexicans were murdered last year

29,000 Mexicans were murdered last year

by sanmigueltimes
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Mexico’s war on drugs has left 234,966 people dead in the last 11 years. In 2017 alone, the country saw some 29,000 murders, the highest annual tally since such record-keeping began in 1997.

For years, incensed Mexicans have demanded that President Enrique Peña Nieto – now in the final stretch of his six-year term – take action. Recently, lawmakers from his Revolutionary Institutional Party proposed a controversial solution: Put Mexico’s military on the streets to fight crime.

Despite protests and warnings from human rights advocates, who say the law will actually escalate violence, on Dec. 15, 2017, the Mexican Senate approved the Internal Security Law.

Just before Christmas, Peña Nieto signed the legislation into law. In response, activists poured red paint in fountains across Mexico City to symbolize the bloodshed it would usher in.

A military history of massacres

I’ve been studying the violence in my home country for decades. While something must be done to stem the bloodshed, history shows that militarizing law enforcement will hurt rather than help.

Mexico’s military has actually been fighting crime informally for over a decade. In 2006, former President Felipe Calderón sent 6,500 soldiers to battle cartels in the state of Michoacán. And they never really stopped.

The consequences have been grave. Between 2012 and 2016, Mexico’s attorney general launched 505 investigations into alleged human rights abuses – including torture and forced disappearances – committed by the military.

In 2014, soldiers shot 22 unarmed citizens in the town of Tlatlaya. Later that year, the army was allegedly involved in the unsolved kidnapping of 43 students from a teachers college in southern Mexico.

Full article was originally published on The Conversation. Read full original article.

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