Mexico court backs civil trials for military rights abuses

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's top court ruled on Tuesday that military officials who committed crimes against civilians should be tried in civil courts, possibly clearing the way for sterner prosecutions against military misconduct in the country's drug war.
In an 8-2 decision, the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional a section of the military code of justice the armed forces have relied on to argue that cases should be tried in their own courts.
The justices ruled that an article of the code failed to offer victims of military human rights abuses recourse to federal justice.
However, other similar rulings will be needed to set a precedent that would change the law.
"This decision is not obligatory until four other cases confirm the court's decision," said Victor Rojas, director of the Ibero-American University's law school in Mexico City.
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