National: UN report highlights impunity and high number of homicides in Mexico

United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Christof Heyns (@Proceso)

United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Christof Heyns (@Proceso)

Christof Heyns, United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, has presented the report of his visit to Mexico in April and May 2013, where he collected information on violations of the right to life and individual integrity, as well as on torture and forced disappearances.

The report highlights the high number of homicides in Mexico (100,000 since 2006), 70 percent of which are drug-related. Among the social groups that have suffered most homicides are women, migrants, journalists, and human rights defenders. According to the rapporteur, “the numbers show that levels of violence levels are far worse compared to the ones that I have seen in the other countries I have visited in the four years of my term.”

According to Heyns, impunity in terms of homicides in Mexico is due, in many cases, to inadequate investigations, improper handling of the crime scenes, and lack of coordination in the forensic service, often leading people to be processed and accused erroneously.

The report also recommends a security system focused on human rights, rather than on militarism. It urges a halt to the military role in public security, since the preparation and mode of action of the armed forces is not adequate for civilian purposes.

An improvement in forensic and investigative services, greater powers for public bodies in defense of human rights, and more independence for the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) with respect to the federal government are also encouraged.

On violence against women, the rapporteur noted that this often results from the impunity enjoyed by the aggressors. He recommended that femicide should be classified in all relevant criminal codes and that specific protocols for investigations in those case should be created.

Finally, Heyns concluded that in Mexico, “what is required is a systematic, comprehensive and exhaustive strengthening of the rule of law.”

For more information (In Spanish):

Impera en México la impunidad en asesinatos de mujeres: ONU (Cimac, 12 de junio de 2014)

Violencia en México, mucho más grave que en otros países: ONU (La Jornada, 13 de junio de 2014)

Amenazado en México el derecho a vivir: ONU (La Prensa, 13 de junio de 2014)

México: Desaparición forzada a la orden del día (Argenpress, 13 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (In English):

Mexico: Preliminary conclusions from the UN relator regarding extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary executions in the country (May 17, 2013)

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