The military in most cities are there to serve and protect the citizens. It is much more common for military members in most nations to injure an individual who is threatening others’ safety, as opposed to killing them.
However, in the nation of Mexico, this all seems to be turned upside down with the men in uniform sending out ripples of fear due to the extremely high and unnecessary kill rates at present. The Mexican government prides itself on the Mexican armed forces being “exceptionally efficient” killers, as The New York Times shares.
“They are summary executions”–killings committed by Mexican military
— Alexander Aviña (@Alexander_Avina) May 26, 2016
Authorities insist that their military are expected to be better-trained and skilled killers than the cartels they are constantly in opposition with. However, experts who keep close eyes on Mexico and the violence within it share that the kill rate by military is unheard of and leans towards being corrupt.
The NY Times shares the troubling Mexican military kill statistics that suggest something more may be at play.
“In many forms of combat between armed groups, about four people are injured for each person killed, according to an assessment of wars since the late 1970s by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Sometimes, the number of wounded is even higher. But the body count in Mexico is reversed. The Mexican Army kills eight enemies for every one it wounds. For the nation’s elite marine forces, the discrepancy is even more pronounced: The data they provide says they kill roughly 30 combatants for each one they injure.”
Juan E. Méndez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, shares about the manner in which these killings are handled in the nation of Mexico.
“Not only is torture generalized in Mexico, but it is also surrounded by impunity. If the government knows it is frequent and you still don’t get any prosecutions, and the ones you do prosecute usually wind up going nowhere, the blame lies with the state.”
Mexican armed forces were unwilling to respond to an interview request by the publication. However, General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, who is the nation’s defense secretary defends the military publicly and says it is the only military that steps up and takes organized crime head on while winning in the fight. The General spoke with a Mexican newspaper.
“We are in the streets because society is demanding us to be there.”
The numbers are alarming in regards to the people killed by military force in Mexico with around 3,000 being killed between 2007 and 2012. In these years, only 158 military members died. Unfortunately in Mexico, fewer than 2 percent of murder cases are prosecuted successfully. The armed forces use this as their excuse for the killings, stating that they cannot rely on a legal system that does not punish murders properly and therefore have to take matters into their own hands.
The publication shares how the government has come under criticism of late.
“Waves of pressure have crashed over the government. In March, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemned Mexico’s human rights record, including extrajudicial executions, building on an earlier United Nations report that described torture as widespread.”
There have been a number of incidents between military members and civilians that have additionally raised alarms. One such incident involves the surfacing of a video of a Mexican soldier beating a woman while a policeman placed a plastic bag over her head. The video went viral and brought forth a public apology by the men. Additionally, as Yahoo reports, a military vet defended the torture he oversaw
— COMEXI (@COMEXI) May 16, 2016
The government states that despite public perception, it does take human rights seriously.
[AP Photo/Charles Dharapak]