Rights group implicates Mexico security forces in disappearances
Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 01:30
Feb. 21 - A Human Rights Watch report alleges the involvement of Mexican security forces in the disappearance of 149 people during the administration of former President Felipe Calderon. Simon Hanna reports
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Ixchel Teresa Mireles Rodriguez holds back the tears as she talks about her husband who she's not seen for three years.
Hector Armando Tapia Osollo was taken from his home in June 2010 by armed men claiming to be federal police officers.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) IXCHEL TERESA MIRELES RODRIGUEZ:
"They said they wanted information and if we didn't cooperate they'd kill us right there. They threw us to the floor and asked where out computer was, where the laptop was, and money and guns. They told me to be quiet, and that if I don't cooperate they'd kill him. They took him away and I haven't seen him since."
Ixchel's story is not unique in Mexico.
Human Rights Watch on Wednesday released a report documenting 249 such disappearances during the administration of former President Felipe Calderon between 2006 and 2012.
The report accuses members of Mexico's security forces of having participated in 149 of these incidents.
Jose Miguel Vivanco - director of Human Rights' Watch Americas division - says the record of Calderon's government in terms of human rights is "disastrous".
He says the new government has a great opportunity to bring justice to the families of thousands of people who have disappeared during the war on drugs.
The report urges the Mexican government to take steps such as establishing a national database of those who have disappeared, to better register unidentified remains, and to reforming the military's Code of Justice.
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