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Latino Daily News

Monday June 2, 2014

Mexican Government Emphasizing ‘Unrestricted’ Respect for Human Rights by Military

The Mexican government has published a manual regulating the use of force by military personnel, requiring the army, navy and air force to “always observe unrestricted respect for human rights.”

The Defense Secretariat published the Manual on the Use of Force in the Official Daily of the Federation on Friday.

The manual requires military personnel to use persuasion and other non-lethal tactics in support of civilian authorities, allowing the armed forces to use force “under the principles of opportunity, proportionality, rationality and legality.”

“It should be remembered at all times that the use of force by those who can exercise it or order it should be a decision based on reason,” the manual says.

Force should be used in a way that causes the least damage possible and “always considering the seriousness of the act,” the manual says.

Military personnel involved in operations that may require the use of force should use video cameras, still cameras and recording devices to document incidents and their actions, the manual says.

The unnecessary use of force could subject armed forces members to criminal and administrative proceedings on an individual basis, while Mexico could face legal action “in the international arena,” the manual says.

The federal government has deployed military personnel in cities across Mexico in the past few years to fight drug cartels and other criminal organizations.

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