January 19, 2018 / 1:04 AM / a year ago

Mexico rights body urges probe into alleged murders by security forces

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s human rights commission on Thursday urged authorities to investigate the alleged role of federal security forces in the murder of four people, three of whom were U.S. citizens, in a violent northern border state in 2014.

The human rights commission (CNDH) said in a statement it had found evidence to suggest that police and marines were involved in the murder of the four people in the state of Tamaulipas, which has been roiled by years of drug cartel violence.

“After analyzing the case, this national body found elements to establish the probable responsibility of marines ... in the arbitrary detention, disappearance and arbitrary execution of he dead,” the CNDH said.

“The actions of the members of the federal police that were present during the detention, and who did not register it in their paperwork or report it to their superiors, will also need to be investigated,” it said.

Mexican security forces have regularly been accused of rights violations since former Mexican President Felipe Calderon sent in the military to tackle the country’s powerful drug cartels in 2007.

More than a decade later, well over 100,000 people have died in drug violence, with 2017 the most deadly year in at least twenty years.

As officials grapple to control the bloodshed, President Enrique Pena Nieto last month signed into law a contentious security bill that would formally enshrine the parameters for using the military in crime-fighting.

A host of human rights groups and international organizations attacked the bill, citing reported cases of abuses by Mexico’s military.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Leslie Adler

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