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Mexico: Federal Government Regulates Use of Force by Military and Police

(May 10, 2012) The Federal Government of Mexico announced on April 23, 2012, the entry into force of rules for the use of public force in operations against criminal groups. The Protocols for the Use of Force, the Preservation of Evidence, and the Presentation of Detainees to the Authorities are to be followed by the army, navy, air force, federal police, and the Public Prosecutor's Office (PGR) and establish when the use of lethal force can be applied. (Doris Gómora & Silvia Otero, Regulan el Uso de la Fuerza Pública, EL UNIVERSAL (Apr. 24, 2012).)

According to the new Protocols, the armed forces will no longer be able to shoot people who evade, flee, or attempt to escape from them, unless such persons seriously resist authority or present imminent danger of death or serious injury to others. The rules stipulate that the use of force is a last resort. (Id.)

Other new guidelines that took effect on April 24stipulate that members of the federal [armed] forces must immediately present detainees to the appropriate authority, while ensuring the physical integrity of the detainees and respect for their human rights and due process. (Id.)

The Protocols were issued by the Secretaries of National Defense, the Navy , and the PGR, according to their operational characteristics and the legal scope of their duties. Each organization published the procedures that its members will have to follow in arresting, detaining, and conducting raids against organized crime figures or responding to attacks launched by such figures. (Id.)