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Mexican rights groups seek international probe into torture, forced disappearances

Human rights organizations in Mexico are asking the  International Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute what they call crimes against humanity perpetrated or ignored by the Mexican state.

Their  report to the court documents thousands of cases of torture and forced disappearances in Mexico  since 2006, allegedly carried out by, ordered or with the knowledge of Mexican military and police.

"The Mexican state has neither the will nor the capacity to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these crimes against humanity," Graciela Rodriguez Manzo, director of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights ( CMDPDH), said during a virtual press conference Thursday.

In fact, she said the group's investigations have found that as Mexico has grown to rely more heavily on the military to address violence and organized crime, cases of physical, sexual and psychological torture, as well as forced disappearance, are on the rise. In part, she added, that's because officials use those tactics to secure criminal convictions in an effort to prove that the country is successfully addressing violence and impunity.

The groups hope international pressure will push Mexican leaders to address human rights abuses, and end impunity for those within its armed forces, including high level officials, who have been involved in those crimes.

Kendal Blust, an Arizona native, reports from KJZZ’s bureau in Hermosillo, Sonora, focusing on business and economic relationships between Arizona and northern Mexico.Prior to joining KJZZ, Kendal worked at the Nogales International, reporting on border and immigration issues, local government, education and business. While working on her master’s degree at University of Arizona School of Journalism, she did stints with the Arizona Daily Star and the Tico Times in Costa Rica, and completed a thesis project about women art activists in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands.In her pre-journalist life, Kendal was a teacher, first helping Spanish high school students learn English, then heading to Tucson to teach fourth grade.When she’s not in the newsroom, Kendal enjoys getting outside for a hike or a swim, catching a good movie, hanging out with family and friends, and eating great food.