Mexico: rights commission faults army in students’ deaths

On Aug. 12 the Mexican government’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) issued recommendations in the case of two graduate students killed the early morning of March 19 during a gunfight between soldiers and alleged drug cartel members in front of the prestigious Institute of Technology and Higher Education’s Monterrey campus (ITESM) at Monterrey in the northern state of Nuevo León. The incident took place as part of a heavily militarized “war on drugs” that President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa put into motion shortly after taking office in December 2006; the government and the army claim that most of the thousands of victims are cartel members.

The CNDH said it couldn’t determine who killed the students, Jorge Antonio Mercado Alonso and Javier Francisco Arredondo Verdugo, because the military and state authorities had created obstacles to the investigation, including the alteration of the crime scene. However, it found that the “irregularities detected imply a failure to fulfill the public function of obtaining justice” and resulted in a violation of the human rights of the victims and their families. The CNDH also criticized the military for shooting with high-powered weapons so close to a university campus, and called on the military to pay compensation to the victims’ families and to improve its handling of investigations.

According to the CNDH, the victims’ bodies were moved, weapons were planted near them, and an ITESM security camera that recorded the incident was destroyed. The military initially claimed that the students were drug cartel employees; military spokespeople said later that the students died in crossfire between the military and cartel members. The CNDH noted that according to the forensic evidence the students didn’t die immediately from their wounds and received injuries in their faces while still alive—in other words, they were beaten as they lay dying. (La Jornada, Mexico, Aug. 13)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Aug. 15.

See our last posts on Mexico and Mexico’s narco wars.

  1. Prohibition is a dangerous failure
    Pragmatic libertarians (minimal-statists) and “true” Conservatives agree that many, if not most, of society’s problems are caused by government usurping choices that could better be made by individuals and that government is just about the worst way of doing almost anything. Where libertarianism normally parts company with “fake” conservatism is over moral issues. But a true conservative would have no problem with agreeing, that what people do with their own bodies, and especially in the privacy of their own home, should be supremely their business, and that anything else would entail ignoring the basic tenet of limited government.

    Fake-Conservatism on the other hand has much in common with socialism; Both Leftists and Fake-Conservatives appear to harbor the belief that nature does not exist and that any human can be anything he wants to be, or can for the “greater good”, be “re-educated” into being. Leftists therefore think little boys can be conditioned into preferring dolls over toy soldiers, and similarly Fake-conservatives believe that adults can be coerced into choosing alcohol over marijuana. A true conservative, just like a pragmatic libertarian, would immediately reject both ideas as nonsense.

    Prohibitionists, Leftists and Fake Conservatives dance hand in hand therefor with every possible type of criminal one can imagine.

    An unholy alliance of ignorance, greed and hate which works to destroy all our hard fought freedoms, wealth and security.

    We will always have adults who are too immature to responsibly deal with tobacco alcohol, heroin amphetamines, cocaine, various prescription drugs and even food. Our answer to them should always be: “Get a Nanny, and stop turning the government into one for the rest of us!”

    Nobody wants to see an end to prohibition because they want to use drugs. They wish to see proper legalized regulation because they are witnessing, on a daily basis, the dangers and futility of prohibition. ‘Legalized Regulation’ won’t be the complete answer to all our drug problems, but it’ll greatly ameliorate the crime and violence on our streets, and only then can we provide effective education and treatment.

    The whole nonsense of ‘a disaster will happen if we end prohibition’ sentiment sums up the delusional ‘chicken little’ stance of those who foolishly insist on continuing down this blind alley. As if a disaster isn’t already happening. As if prohibition has ever worked.

    To support prohibition is such a strange mind-set. In fact, It’s outrageous insanity! –Literally not one prohibitionist argument survives scrutiny. Not one!

    The only people that believe prohibition is working are the ones making a living by enforcing laws in it’s name, and those amassing huge fortunes on the black market profits. This situation is wholly unsustainable, and as history has shown us, conditions will continue to deteriorate until we finally, just like our forefathers, see sense and revert back to tried and tested methods of regulation. None of these substances, legal or illegal, are ever going to go away, but we CAN decide to implement policies that do far more good than harm.

    During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on treatment. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

    In an underground drug market, criminals and terrorists, needing an incentive to risk their own lives and liberty, grossly inflate prices which are further driven higher to pay those who ‘take a cut’ like corrupt law enforcement officials who are paid many times their wages to look the other way. This forces many users to become dealers themselves in order to afford their own consumption. This whole vicious circle turns ad infinitum. You literally couldn’t dream up a worse scenario even if your life depended on it. For the second time within a century, we’ve carelessly lost “love’s labour,” and, “with the hue of dungeons and the scowl of night,” have wantonly created our own worst nightmare.

    So should the safety and freedom of the rest of us be compromised because of the few who cannot control themselves?

    Many of us no longer think it should!

    1. Your post is a dangerous failure
      Please read our posting policy. We only have four rules, and you violated the first two.

      1. Your post should be no longer than the article you are responding to.

      Yours is more than twice as long

      2. Your post should be original, and not a standardized cut-and-paste job. If your screed has already been posted verbatim on other websites, it will not be approved.

      Yours has been posted here and here and here and here.

      We are approving it only as one of our periodic reminders of what will not be approved. Almost every week, some scribbler who can’t read assaults us with such stenography.

      Furthermore, there are plenty of good reasons to oppose prohibition, but the notion that Prohibition caused the Depression is simplistic and overstated at the very best. And where did you get the idea that “leftists” support prohibition? Please tell us which “leftists” you are referring to. We’ll be waiting.