Mexico's War on Civil Rights.


Red edge: Negative, Pink edge: NotPositive
Light green edge: NotNegative, Green edge: Positive

1Mexico 's War on Civil Rights .
2When President Barack Obama goes to Guadalajara , Mexico , this weekend for the North American Leaders Summit , he will surely praise Mexican President Felipe Calderon for the courage he has displayed fighting the war on drugs .
3The applause is well deserved .
4Calderon has turned the crackdown on drug traffickers into the centerpiece of his administration and has pursued organized crime with undeniable zeal .
5But before Obama becomes too effusive and pats Calderon on the back for a job well done , it 's important that the U.S. president remember the cost and the consequences of his counterpart 's crusade .
6In Mexico today , human rights violations committed by the military and the police in this effort are on the rise , yet punishment for the perpetrators remains elusive .
7So although Obama should recognize Calderon 's efforts , he should also insist that drug lawlessness can not be combated by breaking the law and that the army must be subjected to the kind of scrutiny it has shunned so far .
8Today , more than 45,000 soldiers police the roads of Mexico 's main cities and drug-producing areas as part of a strategy designed to confront drug traffickers and contain the violence they wreak .
9Many ring leaders have been captured , many drug shipments have been confiscated and many smugglers have been imprisoned .
10But violence remains unabated , and the unintended consequences of Calderon 's efforts have become distressingly clear : The number of cases of human rights violations brought before the Mexican Human Rights Commission has risen by 600 percent over the last two years .
11The war on drugs is turning into a war on the civilian population that ca n't simply be dismissed as collateral damage .
12Mexico 's military is capturing `` capos , '' but it 's also raping , extracting confessions through torture and detaining people arbitrarily .
13Crime is begetting more crime .
14In light of this , U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy , D-Vt. , was right this week to call `` premature '' the U.S. State Department 's draft report claiming that Mexico has fulfilled its human rights obligations under the so-called Merida Initiative .
15He is right to remind officials on both sides of the border that in return for Merida 's $ 1.4 billion in counter-narcotics aid from the United States , the Calderon government made promises it has not kept .