[EDITORIALS]An outrage in Mexico

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[EDITORIALS]An outrage in Mexico

Law enforcement authorities in Mexico reportedly violated the human rights of 33 Korean residents in that country. The authorities took the Korean-Mexicans to a police station, allegedly under the pretense of investigating them on charges of trademark forgery, and subjected them to a strip search.

It is suspected that the group arrest of the Koreans at a time when the year-end shopping season is approaching was a biased investigation against all Koreans. The human rights violation by Mexican authorities was so inhuman and humiliating that we could hardly believe our ears when we heard it.

According to witness accounts and reports from the Korean mission there and in the media, the Mexican investigators used intimidation to force the Koreans to take off their clothes. The investigators allegedly humiliated the women, who tried to conceal their private parts with their hands, by ordering them to raise their arms.

Mexican authorities arrested a couple who have children 3 and 4 years old, ignoring the parents' pleas and leaving their children alone and in terror, separated from their parents. The authorities even arrested a Korean with American citizenship who was visiting there on business. Authorities reportedly banned the access of lawyers while the investigation was under way.

If someone is guilty, it is natural that that person should be subject to punishment. The investigation of a violation of local law is an indigenous right and the concern of the local government. Therefore, we will watch the judicial process in Mexico, although there we suspect that the investigation was biased.

The Mexican government should, realizing that the incident could damage a 40-year-long friendship between the two countries, take acceptable measures by investigating this case thoroughly. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be reminded that the first priority of Korean missions overseas lies in protecting Korean nationals and national interests overseas. Seoul should protest strongly against the Mexican government and demand that it take measures necessary to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
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