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Human Rights Watch

Report: Mexican security forces murdered dozens in name of drug war

Mexican security forces abducted and murdered dozens of people over the past six years in the name of the drug wars on cartels, according to Human Rights Watch.

Further, the U.S.-based rights group said in a report, Mexico has failed to properly investigate human rights abuses committed by its own security forces. 

Human Rights Watch presented its report to the administration of Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto.

The group — describing what it called "the most severe crisis of enforced disappearances in Latin America in decades" — said that while inquiring into 249 missing persons cases, it found credible evidence that soldiers or police participated in 149 of them. 

Victims included husbands and fathers who went out for groceries and never came back, while others were dragged from their homes by uniformed men in the middle of the night.

Many were seen being forced into military trucks and police vehicles.

The disappearances all occurred during the term of former President Felipe Calderon, whose administration the group blames for ignoring the mounting problem and failing to take steps to address it.

According to the BBC, about 70,000 people are believed to have been killed in organized crime-related deaths in Mexico since December 2006, when Calderon declared war on the country's powerful drug cartels.

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The U.S. has threatened to withhold millions of dollars in security aid to Mexico in recent years over alleged police and military abuses.

The Washington Post cited Massachusetts lawmaker Jim McGovern, co-chair of the human rights commission in the House, as saying that he intended to hold hearings on the report’s findings. 

He said:

"More and more Mexican military and security forces are involved in human rights abuses, and we shouldn’t be funding that. We should be condemning that."

Mexican officials declined to comment on the report.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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A policeman in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico.