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Mexico's Calderon pledges support for human rights

Mexico's Calderon pledges support for human rights

Mexican President Felipe Calderon pledged his government's support for human rights Thursday following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel where both praised their solid bilateral and economic ties.
Calderon, who is on his first trip to Europe, held talks with Merkel, as well as German business leaders as part of efforts to attract investment to Mexico.
"A state where all people can live in the knowledge that they are secure and where they can trust in the justice system is the kind of state that will attract investment," Calderon said, pledging to support such efforts in Mexico.
"Mexico is a nation that believes in human rights and respects human rights," Calderon said.
Merkel, whose nation currently holds the presidencies of both the European Union and the G-8 group of industrial nations, said she had invited Calderon _ and he had accepted _ to attend the July G-8 summit as an observer.
Both leaders also pledged to further bilateral cooperation in the areas of economics, trade and the environment.
"Germany is Mexico's most important economic partner within the European Union," Merkel said.
Earlier in the day, 18 demonstrators skirted security measures at German President Horst Koehler's residence to unfurl a banner with the spray-painted message "No More Murder Mexico: Out of Oaxaca" before being apprehended by federal police.
The incident occurred about 12:30 (1130 GMT), some 20 minutes before Calderon arrived at the residence to meet with Koehler.
All 18 were taken into temporary custody and faced possible charges of violating the country's right-to-assembly laws, said federal police spokeswoman Stefanie Kaufmann.
The poor, mountainous state of Oaxaca is governed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI, which ruled Mexico for most of the 20th century.
Last year Democratic Revolution members joined thousands of leftist protesters who took over Oaxaca's state capital for five months to try and oust PRI Gov. Ulises Ruiz, who they accused of rigging the 2004 election to win office and sending gun-toting thugs against his enemies. Ruiz denies the charges.
Armed gangs and police fought protesters, leaving nine people dead.
Thousands of federal police finally pushed the protesters out of the city in October and November.
Calderon has stepped up Mexico's battle against warring drug smugglers, sending 17,000 troops to top drug states and extraditing kingpins to the United States, including reputed Gulf cartel leader Osiel Cardenas.
Mexican police have also arrested the alleged leader of the Oaxaca drug cartel, Pedro Diaz Parada. On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered Diaz Parada to be held over in a top security prison to face trial on drug trafficking and weapons charges.
Drug violence killed more than 2,000 Mexicans last year. Drug gangs fighting over lucrative routes to the United States have resorted to gruesome tactics, including beheadings.
Berlin was Calderon's first stop on a six-day tour of Europe, where he planned to meet with global heavyweights at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and encourage foreign investment in Mexico.


Updated : 2021-04-17 06:53 GMT+08:00