National/International: “The Time is Now, Effective Public Policies for the Right to Defend Human Rights” Report Published

October 30, 2018

RHR

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)

National: Defenders and Journalists Denounce Insufficient Resources for Continuity of Protection Mechanism (September 26th, 2018)

National: UN-DH urges Mexico to guarantee resources for the protection of journalists and human rights defenders (September 17th, 2018)

National/International: International organizations call Mechanism for Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists into question (May 16th, 2015)

 

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National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples Presents Report in Mexico City One Year after her Visit

October 22, 2018

UN.png

On October 15th, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz presented her report in Mexico City based on the visit she made to the country in November 2017 to four Mexican states: Mexico, Guerrero, Chiapas and Chihuahua.

When making a comparison with what was observed by the then Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Rodolfo Stavenhagen in 2003, the present report concludes that there have been no significant advances in 14 years, despite the international commitments made by Mexico since then on the issue; this in a context that continues to be of “deep inequality, poverty and discrimination of indigenous peoples that limit their access to justice, education, health and other basic services.”

One of the points that was emphasized in the presentation was the current development policies based on extractivism, energy, tourism, real estate and agricultural megaprojects, which constitute “a major challenge” for the human rights of indigenous peoples. “With regard to social and economic development, government institutions must substitute programs and policies with a welfare approach for those with a human rights focus and that promote empowerment, self-determination, and the priorities and proposals of these peoples,” it said. The report documents that the consultations that have been carried out for the implementation of megaprojects have not complied with the international human rights standards to which Mexico has committed: that they be prior, free, informed, culturally appropriate and in good faith.

On the same subject, the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico, Jan Jarab said that these consultations become a method of blackmail, as those who make them try to convince the inhabitants of indigenous lands with the promise of benefits, which they will lose if they vote against. “It’s a very manipulative context,” Jarab warned. He also said that the processes that they have accompanied from the UN have been “disappointing”, which “makes us doubt the last characteristic, which is good faith.”

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz also explained that indigenous peoples in Mexico face various violations of their rights such as violence, forced displacement, impunity, criminalization of those who defend their lands, lack of access to education, health, housing, and even assassinations, among others.

Some of its recommendations point to the need to “promote and strengthen autonomy, self-government and indigenous legal systems. As established in Article 4 of the UN Declaration on these communities, they have the right to the provision of the means to finance their autonomous functions”; as well as to “create a new relationship between indigenous peoples and the State based on equality, respect and non-discrimination.”

For more information in Spanish:

Las consultas con los pueblos indígenas para explotar la tierra son una manipulación: ONU (Animal Político, 16 de octubre de 2018)

Gobierno, obligado a consultar megaproyectos a indígenas: ONU (La Jornada, 15 de octubre de 2018)

La ONU exige a México consultar a pueblos indígenas sobre megaproyectos en sus tierras (Sin Embargo, 15 de octubre de 2018)

DESTACA CNDH GRAVEDAD DEL 65% DE DISCRIMINACIÓN EN MÉXICO POR ORIGEN ÉTNICO, Y URGE ATENDER TAMBIÉN POBREZA, ALIMENTACIÓN, VIVIENDA, EDUCACIÓN, SALUD Y JUSTICIA PARA QUE LAS PERSONAS INDÍGENAS ACCEDAN A UNA VIDA DIGNA (CNDH, 15 de octubre de 2018)

PRONUNCIAMIENTO DE LAS ORGANIZACIONES Y COMUNIDADES QUE PROMOVIERON LA VISITA DE LA RELATORA ESPECIAL DE NACIONES UNIDAS SOBRE DERECHOS DE LOS PUEBLOS INDÍGENAS, VICTORIA TAULI-CORPUZ, A CHIAPAS, EN 2017. EN EL MARCO DE LA ENTREGA DE SU INFORME EN MÉXICO (OSC de Chiapas, 15 de octubre)

For more information from SIPAZ:

 

National / International: Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations presents report on Mexico in Geneva, Switzerland (25/09/2018)

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Publishes Report after Visit to Mexico (21/08/2018)

National/International: Visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Mexico Ends (23/11/2017)

National–Mexico: Visit of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (12/11/2017)

 


National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Publishes Report after Visit to Mexico

August 21, 2018

UN.png(@ONU-DH)

On August 9th, in the framework of International Day of Indigenous Peoples, the Special Rapporteur of the UN, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, published her report on her visit to Mexico in November 2017. This report will be presented to the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations in September 2018.

In the document, the rapporteur presented her main concerns and recommendations. In general terms, she warned that after the visit made by her predecessor in the post and despite the commitments subsequently made by Mexico, indigenous peoples continue to face serious challenges in the exercise of their human rights, which “reflects the considerable existing gap between the legal, political and institutional reality and the international commitments assumed by the country.” This, in “a context of profound inequality, poverty and discrimination of indigenous peoples that limits their access to justice, education, health and other basic services.”

In more specific aspects, she stressed that, “current development policies based on extractive megaprojects, energy, tourism, real estate, agriculture, for example, are a major challenge for the enjoyment of human rights of indigenous peoples.” “The lack of self-determination and prior, free, informed and culturally appropriate consultation, adds territorial conflicts, forced displacements, criminalization and violence against indigenous peoples who defend their rights,” she stressed.

The recommendations to Mexico point to the creation of “a new relationship between indigenous peoples and the State, based on equality, respect and non-discrimination.” “They also urge measures to solve the problems of violence and insecurity, as well as poverty, marginalization and structural discrimination,” the rapporteur said.

For more informaton in Spanish:

MÉXICO. Situación de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas en México. Informe de la Visita al país de la Relatora Especial ONU, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. Conclusiones y Recomendaciones (ONU, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Los pueblos indígenas de Guerrero en el informe de la relatora (CDH Tlachinollan, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Relatora de ONU sobre pueblos indígenas advierte sobre impacto de megaproyectos en México (El País, 8 de agosto de 20018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Termina visita de la Relatora Especial de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas a México (23 de noviembre de 2017)

Nacional – México: Visita de la Relatora especial de la ONU sobre derechos de los pueblos indígenas (8 de noviembre de 2017)


National/International: Civil Organizations Force Foreign Affairs to Publish Report of UN Sub-committee for the Prevention of Torture

May 1, 2018

TortureStop Torture (@Desinformemonos)

On April 12th, after four months in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE in its Spanish acronym) kept secret the report of the Sub-committee on the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of the United Nations on its second visit to Mexico from December 12th to 21st, 2016, civil organizations forced the document to be made public through a request for access to information.

These organizations indicated that, “although the SPT recognized legislative advances regarding the prevention of torture in the country in the published report, it also reiterated that torture is a widespread practice and confirmed that the almost absolute impunity that prevails in cases fosters its repetition.” They stated that the Sub-committee noted that, “the lack of independence of the forensic services of the prosecutor’s offices translates into the concealment of acts of torture and documented that many persons deprived of their liberty do not denounce torture and ill-treatment for fear of reprisals.” In addition to the impunity, the Sub-committee noted its concern about “different forms of corruption and collusion between complex criminal groups and prison authorities and personnel.”

The organizations called on the Mexican State to fully comply with the recommendations made by the SPT, and include civil society organizations, and experts in its implementation.

“Among the recommendations made by the sub-committee to the Mexican State are ensuring that all authorities empowered to deprive the liberty of citizens are trained and fully apply the standards of rational and proportionate use of force with a human rights approach, instruct the State agents on the prohibition of the use of torture, adopt necessary measures to prevent it and sanction it, among others,” La Jornada concluded.

The president of the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, reported that in the last 17 years that organization issued about 300 recommendations for torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, based on more than 11,500 complaints. The CNDH found that “the gap between a phenomenon recognized as widespread and the few convictions for torture indicate that impunity for acts of torture is prevalent.”

For more information in Spanish:

Prevalece impunidad de actos de tortura en México, señala subcomité de la ONU (La Jornada, 18 de abril de 2018)

La CNDH emitió 300 recomendaciones por tortura y tratos crueles en los últimos 17 años (El Sur, 17 de abril de 2018)

La CNDH emitió 300 recomendaciones por tortura y tratos crueles en los últimos 17 años (Proceso, 16 de abril de 2018)

ONU confirma la práctica generalizada de la tortura en México (SIDIDH, 16 de abril de 2018)

Informe del Subcomité para la Prevención de la Tortura y Otros Tratos o Penas Crueles, Inhumanos o Degradantes (Subcomité de Naciones Unidas, diciembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Internacional/Nacional : Human Rights Watch publica informe sobre la situación de derechos humanos en México y el mundo (19 de enero de 2018)

Nacional: Senado aprueba Ley contra la Tortura (29 de abril de 2017)

Nacional/Internacional : « la tortura y los malos tratos siguen siendo generalizados en México » Juan E. Mendez (7 de marzo de 2017)


National/Guerrero: CNDH Report Causes PGR Criticisms

April 24, 2018

PGRPhoto @ Milenio

On March 28th, the president of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) delivered his 2017 Activities Report where he took the opportunity to ask the Federal Government for the security that Mexico needs.

Regarding the government of the current president Enrique Peña Nieto, it noted “Mexico has not experienced a significant and objective change towards greater respect and validity of human rights; nor has our democratic state of law been substantially strengthened, nor has the environment been changed positively, when millions of Mexicans confronted each other on a daily basis, characterized by the binomials of insecurity and violence, impunity and corruption, inequality and poverty.”

He also regretted that there were major attacks against women, journalists and migrants.

The CNDH “asserted that the law enforcement system “is overwhelmed” and warned that in the current six-year term of office the human rights situation is unfavorable, including the Iguala case, where crimes against students of the normal school of Ayotzinapa were perpetrated.”

On these allegations in the case of Iguala, the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) responded by means of a statement that “it does not correspond” to the CNDH to make inquiries into it and that this agency “cannot replace” the office of the Attorney General in its functions.

Given these criticisms of the PGR, the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) supported the CNDH’s actions and assured that “autonomous human rights organizations do not seek confrontation, but rather contribute to truth and justice.”

For more information in Spanish:

González Pérez demanda más seguridad a Peña Nieto (Sexenio, 10 de abril de 2018)

Desfavorable balance en derechos humanos: González Pérez  (La Jornada, 28 de marzo de 2018)

ONU respalda investigación de CNDH por caso Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 4 de abril de 2018)

Molestia de la PGR, porque somos “incómodos”: CNDH (Vanguardia, 3 de abril de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/Nacional/Internacional : Nuevos informes sobre caso Ayotzinapa (15 de marzo de 2018)

Guerrero: PGR buscará cerrar caso Ayotzinapa antes de diciembre (6 de marzo de 2018)

Guerrero / México – Nacional: Ayotzinapa: Caravana Rompiendo el Silencio y el Olvido (3 de marzo de 2018)

Guerrero / Nacional-México: Ayotzinapa a 40 meses de la desaparición de los 43 sigue la “indolencia” del gobierno (30 de enero de 2018)

Nacional : EPN promulga Ley de Seguridad Interior. CNDH promoverá acciones de inconstitucionalidad. (29 de diciembre de 2017)


International: Solidarity with Organizations that Fight for and Defend Territories and Natural Resources in Latin America

March 25, 2018

SolidarityPhoto; Encounter of international accompaniment and observation organizations, Bogota 2017

The International Network of Organizations of Accompaniment and Observation, formed by some 14 organizations, met in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, for their annual meeting and published the following statement:

Two years after the murder of human rights defender Berta Isabel Caceres Flores, Lenca indigenous leader, general coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH in its Spanish acronym), the organizations of the International Network of Organizations of International Follow-up and Observation welcome the capture of one of the alleged masterminds on March 3rd of this year. However, we express our concern about the lack of progress in the investigations into the case, since to date no conviction has been issued, as expressed by family members and social organizations in Honduras [1].

The organizations that make up the International Network of Organizations of Accompaniment and Observation accompany defenders, communities and organizations in their work to defend territory and the environment in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. From our work of accompaniment, we observe that those who defend nature and natural commons are among the groups that face the most risks for their work. Recently, the international organization Global Witness recorded that in 2017 alone, 197 people working around this issue have been killed [2]. We also highlight the high and differentiated risks to which women defenders are exposed. In addition, the high rate of impunity in cases of assault on defenders in these countries is worrisome [3].

Like other international organizations [4], the subscribed organizations observe that those who defend territory and the environment face de-legitimization, discredit, stigmatization and criminalization processes, which affect the personal, organizational, family and community [level], and generate an adverse context for the defense of the right to territory and the environment.

The work of the defenders of the land and territory is fundamental for the guarantee of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights as a means to have a decent life. The organizations of the Network consider it key that the international community publicly recognize their important work. Likewise, that it guarantees the integral monitoring of the bodies that investigate the cases of attacks to defenders, with the objective of achieving justice and reparation for the victims and their families.

Finally, we consider it important for the international community to put all the will and resources at its disposal to create a safe environment for those who defend the right to territory and natural resources, promoting their valuable work, dismantling stereotypes and stigmatization and rejecting criminalization processes that harm and endanger their lives and work in favor of society.

[1]“Defensoras de la Madre Tierra a dos años de asesinato de Berta Cáceres exigen avances en la investigación”, Criterio, 2 de marzo de 2018. Disponible en: https://criterio.hn/2018/03/02/defensoras-la-madre-tierra-dos-anos-asesinato-berta-caceres-exigen-avances-la-investigacion/

[2]Global Witness/The Guardian. Almost four environmental defenders a week killed in 2017. 2 de febrero de 2018 Disponible en: https://www.globalwitness.org/en/blog/nueva-informaci%C3%B3n-revela-que-197-personas-defensoras-de-la-tierra-y-el-medio-ambiente-han-sido-asesinadas-en-2017/

[3]FrontLineDefenders. Informe Anual sobre defensores/as de derechos humanos en riesgo 2017. 22 de enero de 2018.

[4]CIDH. Criminalización de defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos (OEA/Ser.L/V/II. Doc. 49/15). 31 de diciembre de 2015.

Para más información: 

El caso por el homicidio de Berta Cáceres suma un detenido más; activistas acusan que no es suficiente, The New York Times, 5 de marzo de 2018

Advierten que Honduras busca cerrar investigación sobre el crimen de Berta Cáceres, Proceso, 5 de marzo de 2018

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: La caravana por la Paz, la Vida y la Justicia llegó a San Cristóbal de las Casas,  8 de abril de 2016

Justicia para Berta Cáceres y Nelson Noé García. Protección para Gustavo Castro Soto (29 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas/Internacional: Asesinan a defensora hondureña (Berta Cáceres) en presencia de defensor mexicano (Gustavo Castro) (7 de marzo de 2016)


National: Amnesty International: Extreme Violence Increased Throughout Mexico

March 1, 2018

AmnestyPhoto @ DesdeAbajo

On February 22nd, Tania Reneaum, Executive Director of Amnesty International (AI), presented her annual report on Mexico and denounced that violence increased throughout the country during 2017. She mentioned that, in the last year of the presidency of President Enrique Peña Nieto, there were 42,583 homicides between January and November, a figure that according to the report could be higher, since some crimes are not reported to the police and not all cases led to official measures.

Amnesty International also indicated that the Mexican authorities failed to clarify the location of 34,656 people reported in the national registry of missing persons. It also lamented the problem of extrajudicial executions and that “the authorities did not publish the number of people killed or injured in clashes with the police and the military.”

Regarding the issue of migrants traveling to the United States, Amnesty expressed great concern, especially about their treatment during their journeys and the policies implemented by President Donald Trump.

The executive director stressed that “2017 has to be remembered as the year in which the Senate of the Republic and the President of the Republic ignored the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and from NGOs, to carefully review the Internal Security Law.”

Despite the serious human rights crisis, the organization also noted that there is “a growing movement of resistance, led by both new and experienced activists, which really allows us to hope to reverse the tendency to oppression and fear.”

For more information in Spanish:

América Latina en alerta por “altos niveles” de violencia: Amnistía Internacional (El Imparcial de Oaxaca, 22 de febrero de 2018)

Se agravó la violencia en México en 2017: Amnistía Internacional (Proceso, 22 de febrero de 2018)

Amnistía Internacional: 2017, año de nuevos récords de violencia en México (Noticieros Televisa, 22 de febrero de 2018)

Surge nueva ola de activismo en AL por crisis de derechos humanos: AI (El Economista, 22 de febrero de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: feminicidios a la alza en 2017 (11 de enero de 2018)