On March 14th, the Mexican State accepted 262 of the 264 recommendations issued by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council last November, in the context of the third Universal Periodic Review (UPR). It should be remembered that during these examinations, the situation of human rights in the assessed country is analyzed and each State makes a series of recommendations that are added to a final report.
The Mexican State took note of the recommendation proposed by the Vatican in the sense of “respecting and defending life from conception to natural death” on the grounds that it would be unconstitutional to accept it due to several resolutions of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation that guarantee the legal interruption of pregnancy for several reasons, for example in case of rape.
The second recommendation that Mexico did not admit was the ratification of the Kampala measures to the Statute of Rome, to attain a caregorization of the crime of aggression so that it can be made known to the International Criminal Court (ICC), requesting more time to make that decision.
Cristopher Ballinas, general director of Human Rights and Democracy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs -which led the Mexican delegation- reported that the Mexican government would create a platform to process the more than 2,800 international recommendations that the country has received since 1994, which he proposes to do in collaboration with civil society organizations. He expressed that the decisions were taken to “maintain a policy of openness to scrutiny and collaboration with international organizations in the field of human rights, in parallel with the defense and enforcement at the national level.” He acknowledged that “the Mexican government is aware of the challenges that prevail in the country and is determined to take the necessary measures to guarantee the rule of law, based on a model that promotes the prevention of violence and the strengthening of institutions, the protection of human rights defenders and journalists, as well as the elimination of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
For their part, representatives of Mexican civil society at the event reiterated several concerns after the first 100 days of government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. On behalf of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Protection of Human Rights, the defender Tita Radilla, daughter of Rosendo Radilla, victim of enforced disappearance in 1974, and actor Luis Gerardo Mendez, warned of the fact that “we are concerned that after only 100 days of management, 14 human rights defenders and journalists have been killed”, among other issues. They also expressed their concern about “the attempts of the president (Lopez Obrador) to discredit the work of civil society organizations, many of whom accompany victims of human rights violations and whose work is at risk in a hostile environment in their defense.” Gerardo Mendez also called for “the government of Mexico to undertake an adequate and effective communication and follow-up mechanism with civil society organizations, with human rights defenders and with victims, in order to fully comply with the recommendations made today and accepted by the government of Mexico.”
In turn, the president of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, urged the government of Lopez Obrador to ensure that the National Guard is led by a civilian command and that the Army withdraws from the streets in five years: “Security requires a comprehensive approach, not just reactive measures based on the use of force.” He stressed that “in the three cycles of the UPR, the issue of justice, security and the rule of law have led to multiple recommendations to Mexico and are currently cause for concern.” He also called on the government to “build bridges with the academy, with civil society, with autonomous agencies, with international organizations and something fundamental, that the victims are heard.”
For more information in Spanish:
Proteger a periodistas y activistas; frenar desapariciones y erradicar feminicidios, compromisos de gobierno de AMLO ante la ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 15 de marzo de 2019)
México admite 262 de 264 recomendaciones de ONU (La Jornada, 15 de marzo de 2019)
OSC reprueban gestión de AMLO en materia de derechos humanos ante la ONU (Proceso, 14 de marzo de 2019)
México: El EPU debe utilizarse para abordar retos fundamentales en materia de derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 14 de marzo de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
International/National: Mexico’s 2018 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) (November 14, 2018)