Mexican Police Tortured Five Drug Gang Detainees

Human rights groups have urged an investigation into the abuse

Five alleged members of a Mexican drug gang were tortured by Mexican police after being detained in the killings of two agents and a car-bomb attack in Ciudad Juarez. The abuse has become typical of the Washington-backed approach Mexico has been taking in its “war on drugs.”

After the tortured men confessed, police have now dropped the accusations. The accused – allegedly members of the La Linea gang – remain in prison on drugs and weapons charges.

The National Human Rights Commission said this week that Mexico must investigate six federal officers and a doctor who didn’t report signs of severe beating.

Mexico’s over-reliance on harsh law enforcement and militaristic approaches to the drug war – actively promoted by the United States – has resulted in a dramatic increase in violence and an unaccountable police and military force that is responsible for widespread human rights violations.

Human Rights Watch recently released a report providing evidence that U.S.-supported Mexico’s security forces participated in “more than 170 cases of torture, 39 ‘disappearances,’ and 24 extrajudicial killings since Calderón took office in December 2006.”

“Instead of reducing violence, Mexico’s ‘war on drugs’ has resulted in a dramatic increase in killings, torture, and other appalling abuses by security forces, which only make the climate of lawlessness and fear worse in many parts of the country,” said José Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights Watch. What’s more, claimed the report, is that most of these crimes are committed with impunity.

President Calderon’s policy to deploy 50,000 Mexican troops and thousands more federal police officers – forces that are trained by the United States – appears only to have increased the violence, which has left about 50,000 dead in recent years, including 12,000 dead in 2011.

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for