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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 was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.