Mexico: Report of the UN Work Group on Forced and Involuntary Disappearances

On 14 March, there was presented in Geneva the report of the UN Work Group on Forced and Involuntary Disappearances that visited Mexico between 18 and 31 March 2011.  The report notes that in Mexico “impunity is a chronic reality present in cases of forced disappearances.  Sufficient efforts are not being had to determine the whereabouts of disappeared persons, sanction those responsible, or guarantee the right to truth and reparations.  It would seem that Mexico does not have the will or is incapable of carrying out effective investigations in cases of forced disappearances.”

In teleconference, Airel Dulitzky, member of the Work Group, identified the principal obstacles that exist in Mexico in these terms, including the lack of harmonization between state and federal legislation on forced disappearances and the typical reality that crime continues to classified as limited (for example, he contemplates the participation of State agents and not “particulars who act in the name of the government or with its direct or indirect support, authorization, or acquiescence”).  He mentioned also the problem posed by the prevalence of military courts over civil ones, the absence of protocols for use of force both for soldiers as for police, and the stigmatization of the disappeared.

Among the 34 recommendations suggested by the Work Group are found the creation of a Program of Search for the Disappeared, the application of protocols on use of force, legislative modifications, reform of the military tribunal and the return of soldiers to their barracks, the revelation of the names of those responsible for forced disappearances during the “Dirty War” that were pursued by the now-extinct Specialized Prosecutorial Office for Past Social and Political Movements and the reparation of damages suffered by families of victims.  The report emphasizes the necessity of taking special measures to protect women, migrants, journalists, and human-rights defenders, all of whom are identified as the most vulnerable groups in terms of this kind of crime.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe completo del GTDFI sobre México (GTDFI, marzo de 2012)

Impunidad, patrón crónico en México ante desapariciones forzadas: ONU (Proceso, 14 de marzo de 2012)

Hay complicidad y hasta injerencia del gobierno en desapariciones forzadas: ONU (La Jornada, 15 de marzo de 2012)

ONU registra un aumento de denuncias por desapariciones forzadas en México (CNN México, 16 de marzo de 2012)

La Comed saluda el informe final del GT-ONU sobre desapariciones forzadas e involuntarias (Comed, 15 de marzo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: the International Week of the Disappeared and Detained ends (9 June 2011)

Mexico: National Day against Forgetting and Impunity by the FNLS (8 June 2011)

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