UN rights chief condemns Mexico migrant killings

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The UN human rights chief on Friday condemned the murder of 72 presumed migrants in Mexico, saying the case underlined the "critical situation" of migrants in the country.

"I am deeply shocked about these killings, which highlight the critical situation of migrants in the country," said Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mexican marines discovered the corpses of 58 men and 14 women near the town of San Fernando, close to the US border, following clashes with a suspected drug gang late Tuesday.

Authorities have blamed the brutal Zetas drug gang for the slaughter.

Pillay called on authorities to urgently conduct "a thorough, transparent and independent investigation into these killings and to preserve the dignity of the victims by ensuring their identification and return to their families."

She also urged officials to prosecute and punish those responsible.

"Ensuring that there is no impunity is crucial to avoid a repetition of such a heinous crime," she said.

According to the UN expert on the human rights of migrants, an estimated 400,000 migrants transit through Mexico every year, most of them victims of trafficking by gangs.

© 2010 AFP

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