On 2 December, deputies from the PRI, PAN, PVEM, and PANAL parties approved a bill on “social movement,” or constitutional changes that some NGOs and analysts worry could allow the authorities to suppress protests and more broadly restrict freedom of expression, reunion, and petition. This comes within the context of multitudinous mobilizations against the government of Enrique Peña Nieto over the case of the disappeared 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa.
Some PRD, PT, and Citizens’ Movement legislators have qualified this bill as an “anti-protest law.” Yet it still was approved 292 to 100, and thus will proceed to the Senate. Once approved by the Senate, it must be approved by at least 17 state congresses.
Those comprising the front for the Liberty of Expression and Social Protest and Greenpeace Mexico have made an energetic call on the federal congress to avoid instituting any disposition that would seek to restrict the rights to freedom of expression, meeting, and association. These groups indicated that it is alarming that the reform take place “within a context of enormous social discontent and public mobilizations against which public force has used disproportionate force, leading to violations of the freedom of expression, meeting, social protest, and even health.” It is for these reasons that the General Law on Movement may seek to further restrict the right to social protest.
For more information (in Spanish):
Aprueban diputados ley antimarchas en medio de protestas por Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 2 de diciembre de 2014)
PRI y PAN buscan aprobar reforma que reglamente las manifestaciones(La Jornada, 3 de diciembre de 2014)
¿Ley antimarchas? Puntos clave de lo aprobado por diputados (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de diciembre de 2014)
El PRD condena Ley Antimarchas, pero en el DF la impulsa, acusan activistas (Sin Embargo 4 de diciembre de 2014)
ONG se declaran en alerta por eventuales intentos de cercar la libertad de expresión (La Jornada, 4 de diciembre de 2014)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):