Mexican army head is unhappy with law enforcement role

AP News
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Posted: Oct 08, 2015 9:23 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's defense secretary said Thursday that the country's army isn't happy doing law enforcement duty, but has no other choice.

The statement by Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos comes after soldiers have been implicated in rights abuses.

Cienfuegos told local media in an interview that "none of us got into the armed forces to do this," referring to the military's role in fighting drug cartels and other criminals. But he added: "If the armed forces don't do it, there is no one else to do it."

"We are not comfortable, we didn't ask for this, we didn't study for this, but apart from obeying the president's order, society is asking us to do this," Cienfuegos said.

Local police forces in Mexico are often too week or corrupt to take on the cartels.

On Wednesday, the United Nations' top human rights official called on Mexico to start withdrawing military personnel from law enforcement duties and replace them with well-trained police.