On November 7th, at the end of Mexico’s sixth periodic review of the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations (UN) issued 48 recommendations.
Among the main ones, the Committee gave the Mexican State a period of two years to “advance in the process of formation of the National Guard as a civil institution.” It expressed concern “for the militarized nature of law enforcement in general, including the National Guard, and for the lack of a clear timetable on the withdrawal of military force in civic security tasks.”
On the other hand, it lamented the lack of progress in the case of the forced disappearance of the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa (Iguala, Guerrero, 2014) and urged to “strengthen the research capacity and independence of all the actors involved in the investigation, including prosecutors and experts, as well as ensuring the consolidation of the accusatory system and the autonomy of the institutions of law enforcement.”
A third recommendation, also with a period of two years to assess progress, is the situation of vulnerability of journalists and human rights defenders. The Committee requested that more resources be allocated towards the prevention of aggressions towards these two sectors as well as an exhaustive investigation in case they occur.
Another concern raised is the mistreatment of migrants, including cases of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, enforced disappearances, extortion, trafficking, murder and other crimes, in a context of increased migration flows from Central America to the United States and pressures from US government to the Mexican government to stop them. It expressed concern about the widespread use of detention many times by force. It also said it was concerned about the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols, which require that asylum seekers in the United States remain in Mexican territory during their processing.
On a positive note, it valued the approval of laws such as the Law to Prevent, Investigate and Punish Torture or the Law on the Forced Disappearance of Persons (both from 2017), although it regretted their slow application. In the case of the General Victims Law, it considered its implementation “insufficient” and therefore urged “the State party to provide the bodies responsible for applying the General Victims Law with the necessary resources, adequate training and effective control mechanisms so that victims of human rights violations promptly receive comprehensive reparation… The State party must also ensure, even through legislative reforms, a fast and efficient procedure to achieve legal recognition of the quality of victims.”
For more information in Spanish:
Comité de Derechos Humanos Observaciones finales sobreelsexto informe periódico de México (CCPR, 7 de noviembre de 2019)
Señala ONU violación de derechos de migrantes en México (La Jornada, 7 de noviembre de 2019)
ONU le da dos años a México para desmilitarizar la Guardia Nacional y resolver caso Ayotzinapa (Animal Político, 7 de noviembre de 2019)
La ONU-DDHH pide desde Ginebra a México desmilitarizar la Guardia Nacional y apurar caso de los 43 (Sin Embargo, 7 de noviembre de 2019)
Desmilitarizar la Guardia Nacional y resolver caso Ayotzinapa pide ONU a México (Radio Formula, 8 de noviembre de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ: