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War crimes complaint filed against Mexican president

The Americas Post - Netzai Sandoval is going all the way to the top. Photo Credit: Reuters

Mexican activists have filed a war-crimes complaint against President Felipe Calderón at the International Criminal Court, claiming some  470 cases of human rights violations by the army or police in their war on that nation’s drug cartels.

Attorney Netzai Sandoval said that Mexican drug lords have also committed crimes against humanity in the conflict, which has cost 35,000 to 40,000 lives since late 2006.  The complaint filed at the court in the Netherlands on Friday also names Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Calderón’s administration denies the charges, saying it’s an elected, democratic government combating crime with established mechanisms to protect human rights.  Mexico’s Interior Department issued a statement saying “the public safety policy that has been implemented by no means constitutes an international crime.”  It claimed the government’s actions “are aimed at stopping criminal organizations and protecting all citizens.”

“The Mexican government is not at war, and there is no generalized or systematic attack against civilians, nor any government policy in that direction,” said the statement.

Violence in Mexico is increasing between competing cartels as well as between the cartels and the Mexican government. The two leading groups, the Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel, are now engaged in an all-out war to control major cities including Veracruz and Guadalajara.