MEXICO: 61 Years After the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Sixty-one years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 11 years after the UN’s declaration on human rights defenders, several organizations dedicated to the defense and promotion of human rights are reporting the current situation in their respective states as well as at the national level.

In Chiapas, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) published a special bulletin in which they denounced the fact that in the state “the defense of human rights is subject to intimidation, attacks and killings.” After recounting the harassment suffered by human rights defenders Frayba concludes: “This year the work done in defense of human rights has been criminalized to the point of considering human rights defenders participants in organized crime or part of a supposed subversive network to destabilize the government in 2010.”

In Oaxaca, the “Bartolomé Carrasco Briseño” Regional Human Rights Center, made a public declaration in which they highlighted the state’s current situation “drowning in impunity, corruption, human rights violations and social decomposition.” They questioned the state government denouncing that: “In the Fifth Report issued by the Oaxacan State Government it is evident that this is a government made up of a small group, with an explicit goal of appropriating territories in order to turn Oaxaca into a personal dictatorship.”

In Guerrero, in a press conference held by the Guerrero Network of Human Rights Civil Organizations (Red Guerrerense de Organismos Civiles y de Derechos Humanos) in Chilpancingo, a number of campesino, indigenous, social and human rights organizations presented a joint statement. The document, titled “People and Rights Trampled On,” states that “In Guerrero the shadowy era of the dirty war continues to repeat, because governments allowed the army to return to poor regions were there have been armed uprisings. (…) Today the reappearance of the army throughout the state of Guerrero is a form of punishment against new insurgent movements. (…) We social and civil organizations that have documented serious violations of the fundamental rights of the most vulnerable sectors of the population, are facing not just a slander campaign against our work as human rights defenders but we are also suffering surveillance, harassment and threats carried out with the sole purpose of putting a stop to our work, silence our denunciations and violate our right to defend human rights and fully exercise freedom of expression.”

At the national level, the Early Warning Network (Red de Alerta Temprana) together with other organization, published a report titles Panorama of the Current Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Mexico. In the conclusions they warn: “We consider that [the government] is implementing a strategy to identify human rights defenders and their organizations as ‘enemies’ of the system and identifying the political affiliation of the victims and rights defenders in order to criminalize their actions. Through the use of threats, harassment, murder attempts, arbitrary detentions and the application of arrest warrants against these individuals they are trying to create an environment of tension and fear with the clear objective of polarizing the collective work of these organizations, creating divisions and diminishing or ending the work they do. There is a pattern of aggression that corresponds to a psychological operation of terror.”

For Mor Information:

“Tlachinollan” Human Rights Center of the Montaña: Who defends human rights defenders? (10/12/09)

In Spanish:

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