National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists

imagesNearly two years after its creation, the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico finds itself in a delicate moment, in light of the resignation of its head, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Contreras, on 15 March, a situation has led to multiple questionings regarding its efficacy.  On 24 March, civil councilors of the Mechanism retired from the Governmental Council headed by the subsecretary for Governance, Lía Limón García, given their view that there do not exist adequate conditions for its functioning.

Since June 2013, civil-society organizations have presented a diagnostic regarding deficiencies within the Mechanism.  At present they identify structural failures: the impossibility of having a stable and qualified team due to constant firings, the fact that the full budget set aside for the organism is not yet accessible, and a delay in attending to cases.  Edgar Córtez, one of the civil councilors, detailed for example that until February of this year, the mechanism had received 152 petitions for aid, of which 22 were rejected, 89 were pending, and only 41 had been reviewed and discussed.  This implies that at least 70% of the requests have not yet been considered.

In a communique, civil society called on the Secretary of Governance “to assure in the coming election of the next Executive Coordination of the Mechanism that the designated person have proven experience in human rights, as national and international civil society organizations and journalists have noted in recent days, that a labor policy be established so that those who work for the Mechanism have their rights respected, and that [the Mechanism] work urgently to develop a priority means of responding to the problems identified with the mechanism with defined actions and results to achieve.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento de OSC sobre las fallas del Mecanismo de Protección a Personas Defensoras de DH y periodistas (OSC, 27 de marzo de 2014)

Mecanismo de protección a periodistas falla y sus deficiencias no son atendidas: defensores (Animal político, 27 de marzo de 2014

Fallas estructurales en el Mecanismo de Protección de Defensores de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas (La Jornada, 26 de marzo de 2014)

Crece inconformidad contra Lía Limón; consejeros civiles la dejan sola (Proceso, 24 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: launching of Consultative Council of Mechanism for Protection of Journalists and Rights-Defenders (26 October 2012)

National: Approval of Law for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists (16 May 2012)

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