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Mexico threatens lawsuits if US National Guard deployment leads to rights abuses

[JURIST] Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez [official profile; Wikipedia profile] has said that if President Bush's decision to send [JURIST report] 6,000 National Guard troops to the US-Mexican border results in a militarization of the area, Mexico would file lawsuits in US courts through its consulates to protect the human rights of Mexican citizens. The Mexican government is concerned that the increased troop presence may lead to a "wave of rights abuses" and a higher death rate, similar to when a 1994 bid to increase surveillance in California and Texas increased the death rate as people began crossing at more dangerous locations in Arizona. An estimated 500 people died crossing the border in 2005.

A spokesman for Mexican President Vicente Fox [official website] said Tuesday that Mexico trusts the sincerity of President Bush's nationally televised address [transcript; press briefing] where he said that the extra troops will provide intelligence and surveillance support and will not detain illegal immigrants. Some migrant groups criticized Fox for not taking a tougher stand on the issue, and one group will ask Fox to send Grupo Beta [Washington Times report], a migrant protection force, to dangerous crossing locations. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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