Mexican activists lodged a war-crimes complaint Friday against President Felipe Calderon at the International Criminal Court, claiming his offensive against drug cartels has involved about 470 cases of human rights violations by the army or police.
Netzai Sandoval, a lawyer for the coalition behind the complaint, said Mexican drug lords have also committed crimes against humanity during the conflict, which has cost 35,000 to 40,000 lives since late 2006.
The complaint filed Friday at the court in the Netherlands also names Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
Calderon's administration has denied the accusations, saying it's an elected, democratic government fighting criminals and has established mechanisms to protect human rights.
On Friday, Mexico's Interior Department issued a statement saying "the public safety policy that has been implemented by no means constitutes an international crime." It said the government's actions "are aimed at stopping criminal organizations and protecting all citizens."
"The Mexican government is not at war, and there is no generalized or systematic attack against civilians, nor any government policy in that direction," the statement said.