On August 21, the seventh report “Defending Human Rights in Mexico: The six-years term of impunity” elaborated by Urgent Action for Human Rights Defenders (ACUDDEH), the Cerezo Committee and the Campaign against Enforced Disappearance was presented publicly. It covers the period from June 2017 to May 2018.
This report states that during the government of Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) there have been 5527 attacks against human rights defenders and journalists; 949 of those cases were documented in this last period. It also states that « the largest number of cases registered are related to the opposition against the implementation of the structural reforms, particularly the people who defend the right to education were the most aggressed (224 cases); in second place were activists and people that demostrated in the streets; that is, those who exercised their human right to protest (219 cases) ». It also documents that “in this six-years term the major repression occurred in the states of Michoacán, Guerrero and Chiapas, states that, while suffering from high poverty rates, also have a long history of organizing to defend their human rights.”
The report also analyzes that after the Ayotzinapa case (2014), « the forced disappearance of human rights defenders or journalists implied a high political cost to the government to make it a widespread practice, so it was only used selectively against leaders or founders of indigenous, social or human rights movements, with which the case numbers are lower; however, this had a counterpoint : the Mexican government used extrajudicial execution to silence dissenting voices ». It highlights that the cases of forced disappearance increased by two times those of the previous six-year term.
It adds that “the cases of political imprisonment in Mexico are not unconnected or isolated facts, […], but they respond, in their vast majority, and are part of a mechanism of the strategy of political repression of the Mexican State to limit, dismantle and / or destroy, in practice, the human right to protest”. The organizations that wrote the report propose that within the national reconciliation proposed by the future government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) there might be an amnesty for this type of cases “that is, as a power of the president to “erase” the charges that are raised against these persons so thay they might obtain their freedom, as well as to eliminate the criminal record of those who have already served their sentence so that they might work or avoid being arrested for “recidivism”. An other option is to eliminate the cases that remain open as a silent threat to be able at any time to reactivate criminal proceedings, a situation thats wear down families and organizations and force them to stop demonstrating or compel them to give up from the defense of their rights”.
For more information (in Spanish):
Boletín de prensa Defender los Derechos Humanos en México: El Sexenio de la Impunidad (JUNIO DE 2017 A MAYO DE 2018) (Comité Cerezo, 25 de agosto de 2018)
Informe completo (Comité Cerezo, 25 de agosto de 2018)
México entre los países más peligrosos para defensores de derechos humanos (Vanguardia, 25 de agosto de 2018)
Una larga deuda: 5527 agresiones contra activistas y periodistas y el sexenio aún no concluye (Comité Cerezo, 28 de agosto de 2018)
For more information from SIPAZ: