December 5, 2017 / 2:06 PM / in a year

U.N. rights boss urges Mexico not to enshrine army's role

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein of Jordan speaks during a news conference at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights boss called on Mexico’s Senate on Tuesday not to adopt a proposed law on internal security, saying it would enshrine the role of the military in law enforcement at a time when a stronger police force was needed.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that more than a decade after the armed forces were deployed in the ‘war on drugs’, violence had not abated and extrajudicial killings, torture and disappearances “continue to be committed by various state and non-state actors”.

In a statement recognising Mexico’s huge security challenge and violence sown by powerful organised crime groups, Zeid said: “Adopting a new legal framework to regulate the operations of the armed forces in internal security is not the answer. The current draft law risks weakening incentives for the civilian authorities to fully assume their law enforcement roles.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Catherine Evans

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