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Mexican marines to be investigated for torture, rape

Four servicemen will face an inquiry after a Mexican human rights commission accused them of abusing suspects linked to drug gangs. The marines allegedly assaulted six female detainees in the state of Veracruz.

The Mexican navy announced on Thursday that it was investigating four marines after an independent human rights commission determined they had tortured and sexually assaulted several organized crime suspects.

Six women with alleged ties to drug gangs were attacked by the marines in the state of Veracruz in 2012, The National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) said.

The torture of four suspects and the sexual assault of three were carried out "with the intention of obtaining information or a confession for the crimes they were accused of," read a statement from the CNDH.

The violence included using electric shocks on the breasts and genitals as the marines attempted to crack down on the Zetas gang, responsible for a significant share of the drug warfare in Veracruz.

The Mexican military has been implicated in a number of crimes, including rape, torture and murder since ex-President Felipe Calderon deployed the armed forces to take on the cartels in 2006.

The marines, however, were long considered the most incorruptible - and recently made headlines by nabbing notorious crime boss

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in January.

Despite mounting allegations of misconduct, the military has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the war on drugs. A landmark case last August saw a soldier be found guilty in the disappearance of a civilian, but such convictions are rare.

es/gsw (AP, Reuters)

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