Thursday, December 9, 2010

Human rights be damned...

Another interesting nugget from the diplomatic cables: The operation that resulted in the death of Arturo Beltran Leyva in December 2009 was "a clear victory for the Mexican Government and an example of excellent USG-GOM cooperation."

Really? I understand the reasoning behind praising the intelligence shared and the way the marines caught up to the guy (they raided an "identified" location and barely missed him; then they followed him for a week and caught up to him in Cuernavaca thanks to perseverance and US intel). But the way he was treated posthumously leaves much to be desired. For those who don't recall, Arturo Beltran Leyva's trousers were pulled down, while dollar and peso notes were scattered on his bullet-riddled body.

I don't care if he was the scum of the earth: if the US government is going to push human rights on Mexico and its military, it should be condemning this sort of treatment of dead traffickers. Otherwise, expressing shock at the savagery of the narcos themselves kinda falls short.

Interestingly, the cable also mentions that Embassy officials believed at the time that Hector Beltran Leyva was also killed in the Cuernavaca shootout, which as the cable states, "would mean that all Beltran Leyva brothers are either dead or in prison."

Until today, most of Mexico (myself included) had been operating under the assumption that Hector was the last Beltran Leyva standing, and that he was now running the show. Will have to check into this, stay tuned...

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