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Mexico: Puebla State Approves Use of Firearms Against Protestors

By: PanAm Post Staff - May 21, 2014, 8:49 am

EspañolOn Monday, the Congress of Puebla, Mexico, approved the “Law to Protect Human Rights and Regulate the Legitimate Use of Law Enforcement Force,” authorizing state police officers to use firearms when responding to public demonstrations and regulating the legitimate use of force.

Non-governmental organizations, such as the Social Protest and Free Speech Front, have denounced the Mexican government, and in particular the legislatures of Quintana Roo, Jalisco, San Luis Potosí, and the Federal District, over what they consider the criminalization of social protests through “legal excuses.”

The Front believes these laws “illegitimately restrict the rights of free speech and assembly” and that local legislative powers “have failed to meet their constitutional obligations of respecting and guaranteeing human rights.”

The recently approved law states in Article 7 that police officers may use firearms “in instances of legitimate defense of themselves or others if faced with life-threatening situations or serious injuries, or to prevent the commission of a serious crime.” It further specifies that “self-defense with firearms or lethal force is considered legitimate when there exists a real or imminent threat that puts someone’s life or physical health at risk; it may also involve the threat of serious injury.” In addition, it calls for rationality and proportionality in the use of firearms, according to Article 10 of the document.

Source: Sin Embargo.