On October 18th, the report “The Time is Now, Effective Public Policies for the Right to Defend Human Rights,” prepared by the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and International Protection (PI) was presented in Mexico City. This report makes a diagnosis of the current national mechanisms and programs that several governments of the region have implemented to protect human rights defenders.
The press bulletin released in the context of the publication of the report highlights the main shortcomings of the current mechanisms: “the reductionism of the UN Declaration to the national regulatory environment, not according to international standards; absence of a public policy approach beyond a mechanism with a narrow focus and focused exclusively on security and risk; and the lack of an approach to the problem within the broader framework of guaranteeing the right to defend human rights.”
In the Mexican case, it highlights that the measures adopted “do not follow a broad and comprehensive approach, beyond mechanisms or systems of physical protection that are unaware of the creation of policies aimed at respecting and guaranteeing their rights, in particular, as has been said, the right to defend human rights; prevent violations against them; investigate acts of violence with due diligence; as well as, identify, judge and punish the intellectual and material authors of the commission of crimes, in a context whose impunity is 99.6%.” It should be remembered that in 2017, 31 human rights defenders were murdered in Mexico, according to the Front Line Defenders organization.
“More than just physical protection measures, what is really needed is a general law that has four axes: prevention, protection, investigation of material and intellectual perpetrators, and the area of reparation”, explained Alejandro Cerezo during the presentation of the report. He stressed that the current law is federal in nature, so it only forces the federation to comply with it; there is a legal limbo for states and municipalities.
For his part, the representative in Mexico of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jan Jarab, criticized that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto boasts the Mechanism of Integral Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists as an achievement on an international level, while at the same time, on a national level, he has reduced the budget for its operation.
For more information in Spanish:
“Es Tiempo Ya, Políticas públicas eficaces para el derecho a defender los derechos humanos” (Informe completo, octubre de 2018)
Presentación en video del informe (Serapaz, 18 de octubre de 2018)
En México, los mecanismos de protección a defensores de DH y periodistas no son adecuados: CEJIL-PI (Proceso, 18 de octubre de 2018)
Es Tiempo Ya, México necesita políticas eficaces para la protección de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos y periodistas (Boletín de prensa, 18 de octubre de 2018)
Insuficiente, el mecanismo para proteger a periodistas: expertos (La Jornada, 19 de octubre de 2018)
Mecanismos de protección para defensores de derechos, negocio de empresas: organizaciones (Animal Político, 19 de octubre de 2018)
México necesita políticas eficaces para proteger a defensores de DH y periodistas; existe impunidad en 99.6% de los delitos: OSC (Revolución 3.0, 19 de octubre de 2018)
For more information from SIPAZ:
National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14th, 2018)