Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Human Rights Ideals, Reality

Maureen Meyer reports on what is potentially a big step forward for human rights in Mexico: a new law passed by the Senate augments the power of the CNDH and their state offices, and reforms the Code of Military Justice.

At the same time, via Malcolm Beith, I saw this from the guy currently in charge of security in mi querida Torreón, retired General Bibiano Villa Castillo:
Villa Castillo: The other day we were sent out to kill six bastards and we killed them. What’s the problem?

Reporter: Were they Zetas or Chapos?

Villa Castillo: Zetas.

Reporter: How do you know? You don’t interrogate them, or even talk with them.

Villa Castillo: We found out because they had stolen some weapons from us and we found them there.

Reporter: There are laws, General. You decide who ought to live or die…Don’t you think that God decides that?

Villa Castillo: Well, yeah, but you have to give him a little help.

Reporter: If one of these guys were to approach you to talk…

Villa Castillo: I’d kill him right there. I’d fuck him myself.

Reporter: Kill, and ask questions later?

Villa Castillo: That’s how it ought to be. It’s a code of honor.
That's an interesting, by which I mean terrifying, honor code. It's amazing is that the prestige of the army hasn't suffered despite the five years of massive deployment, the accusations of abuse, and the number of officers running municipal police forces in this manner. It's also amazing that enough people in political power think that killing all potential adversaries is not only morally tolerable, but a sustainable method of improving security. Those six bastards he killed, what if two of them could have been flipped? What if they were fed up with their boss and wanted out of the group? Rather than asking him these questions, people above Villa Castillo have instead promoted him.

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