On July 10, Mexico and the European Union (EU) met at the IX edition of the High Level Bilateral Dialogue on Human Rights, where challenges and experiences in this area were addressed, reflecting in particular on the conjuncture caused by the pandemic by Covid 19 and the need to find ways “to prevent the global health crisis from exacerbating existing problems.” Due to this same context, the meeting was held online and was co-chaired by the undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry, Martha Delgado Peralta, and by the European Union special representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore. Both expressed their will to strengthen cooperation in the promotion and protection of human rights and stressed that the election of Mexico as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, in the Human Rights Council and in the UN Economic and Social Council “provides additional opportunities for Mexico and the EU to join forces in the multilateral arena”.
In this same framework, more than one hundred NGOs from Mexico and international networks prepared a report on the human rights situation in the country, the summary of which they shared with Eamon Guilmore and representatives of Mexican Foreign Affairs at the VII Civil Society Seminar the day before the high-level dialogue. They warned about the fact that the HR crisis is “exacerbated by the effects of the health and economic crisis that have disproportionately impacted the victims’ human rights, particularly of individuals and groups in situations of vulnerability”. This is why they called on the European Union and the Mexican State to strengthen their bilateral relationship in political, technical and cooperation matters. They demanded the government of Mexico and the European Union to “strengthen mechanisms for consultation and participation of civil society, as well as transparency and accountability.”
The NGOs valued that the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has “recognized, in part, the magnitude of the human rights crisis” and has “committed to solving some of the most serious problems such as disappearances”. Nevertheless, they considered that “in practice, high rates of violence and violations of human rights and impunity continue to be maintained.” In this sense, the diagnosis covers a wide range of aspects, including the disappearance crisis; the vulnerability of human rights defenders and journalists; violence against women, children, migrants, indigenous peoples and the LGBTTTI + community; the structural deficiencies of the institutions of justice and law enforcement; the absence of comprehensive victim care policies; the maintenance of the policy of militarization of public security and Mexico’s failure to comply with international recommendations and resolutions.
The document, endorrsed by SIPAZ among others, presents a series of recommendations to prioritize. One of them is “to make public the results of the High Level dialogue with the European Union, in particular its assessment of the diagnosis presented by the NGOs and their proposal for follow-up on the recommendations”.
Regarding the “Economic Association Agreement, Political Agreement and Cooperation” between the European Union and Mexico, they highlighted the closing of negotiations during the pandemic, “without consultation or participation of civil society, which shows the prioritization of economic actors over human rights, in contravention of the European principles of governance and participation”. “This is reflected in the lack of impact evaluations on human and environmental rights, including prior, free and informed consultation, culturally appropriate and in good faith, as has been observed with the mega-projects of the Maya Train and the Trans-isthmic Corridor, that may have devastating environmental and social consequences”, they declared.
For more information in Spanish:
Alertan a la Unión Europea sobre graves crisis de derechos humanos en México (OSC, 13 de julio de 2020)
Denuncian ante la UE grave crisis de derechos humanos en México (Proceso, 13 de julio de 2020)
Reanudan México y UE diálogo de alto nivel sobre DH (La Jornada, 13 de junio de 2020)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):