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Mexican Rights Activists Seek ICC Investigation of President, Others

Netzai Sandoval, a Mexican human rights lawyer, leaves the ICC building after filing a complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, November 25, 2011.

A Mexican human rights lawyer has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court accusing President Felipe Calderon, other top Mexican officials and drug traffickers of crimes against humanity.

Netzai Sandoval filed the complaint Friday with the court in The Hague, calling for an investigation into the deaths of hundreds of people at the hands of the Mexican military and drug traffickers. More than 20,000 Mexican citizens signed the document.

The prosecutor's office said it had received the complaint and that a decision on the request will be made "in due course."

Mexico's government denies the accusations listed in the complaint.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch released a report accusing the Mexican military and police of widespread human rights violations in efforts to combat organized crime. The group's Americas director, Jose Miguel Vivanco, has said that instead of reducing violence, Mexico's "war on drugs" has led to a dramatic increase in killings, torture and other appalling abuses by security forces. He said this makes the climate of lawlessness and fear worse in many parts of the country.

An estimated 45,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Calderon took office in late 2006 and began a crackdown on the cartels.