Mexico to create new police force to fight cartels

Updated 18 December 2012
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Mexico to create new police force to fight cartels

MEXICO CITY: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday announced the creation of a national police force to crack down on crime and battle the country’s powerful drug cartels.
The force- a gendarmerie based on the model of Spain’s Guardia Civil, would be 10,000 strong. Currently Mexico has a patchwork of city and state police, along with some national police.
“Mexicans want peace,” said the new president, addressing a gathering of cabinet members, the country’s state governors, top lawmakers and judges, as well as human rights observers.
The priority, he said, is to decrease the number of “homicides, kidnappings and incidents of extortion.”
The president’s six-point strategy includes an overhaul of the security forces that would see the country divided into five operational regions.
Pena Nieto also said he was allocating $8.8 billion for social programs aimed at preventing crime.
Pena Nieto, 46, is a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the party that ran Mexico for 71 years ending in 2000.
More than 60,000 people died in the “war on drugs” during the Calderon administration, even though he deployed the country’s armed forces to battle drug gangs.


Murder of teenage Indian maid sparks calls for tougher laws urgently

Updated 2 min 26 sec ago
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Murder of teenage Indian maid sparks calls for tougher laws urgently

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The murder of a teenage maid in India triggered calls on Monday for the government to urgently pass laws to curb trafficking and update legislation that lets children work as domestic help.
Police said the 16-year-old girl from eastern Jharkhand state was strangled and her body chopped up and dumped in a drain earlier this month after she demanded a year's unpaid salary from the employment agency that hired her.
A man, who worked at the agency that brings girls from poor families in rural areas to work in Delhi, was arrested late last week, senior Delhi police officer Rajender Singh Sagar told reporters.
"How can we allow our little daughters to be brutally killed after trafficking and exploitation? Where is the rule of law?" Indian Nobel laureate and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi said on Twitter.
The case has put the spotlight on the abuse of domestic servants in India where millions of people, including children trafficked from remote and impoverished states, toil for long hours in homes with little freedom or protection.
Satyarthi urged the government to pass India's new anti-trafficking bill, that was cleared by cabinet in February but has not been tabled in parliament yet, and called for the enactment of another bill to regulate employment agencies.
With stringent punishment for traffickers and quick relief for victims, campaigners believe the anti-trafficking law will result in more arrests and convictions.
About 60 percent of the more than 23,000 trafficking victims rescued in India in 2016 were children, government data shows.
Campaigners have blamed the dilution of the country's child labour act for more children being trafficked for domestic work.
India's parliament approved a controversial law in 2016 allowing children to work for family businesses, despite widespread concern that it would push more of them into labor.
Anti-trafficking charity Shakti Vahini demanded a rollback of amendments in the law and quick enactment of legislation to monitor unregulated employment agencies to stop them withholding salaries from workers or using violence against them.
"It is getting worse after the law was amended," Ravi Kant, founder of Shakti Vahini, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
"There is no fear of law under the current child labour act."