National/International: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Visits Mexico

April 11, 2019

UNHCHR.pngMichelle Bachelet (@CINU)

At the end of her official visit to Mexico, which took place between April 5th and 9th, the United Nations Organization High Commissioner of the for Human Rights (UN-DH), Michelle Bachelet, said she was surprised by the levels of violence and the dimension of the human rights crisis in the country. “It was a surprise to me what I found. Without a doubt, the case of Ayotzinapa is well known by the press, but the 40 thousand disappeared was not something that was so clear, of the 26 thousand bodies without identification (in the forensic services). Or ten women murdered a day. I knew very well about the violence, but I had no idea of ​​the dimension (…) The data are terrifying.” She pointed out that Mexico has figures for violent deaths equivalent to a country at war: 252,538,000 since 2006.

She highlighted outstanding human rights issues in different areas, in particular regarding forced disappearances, femicides, violence against defenders and journalists, torture, abuses against migrants, as well as high poverty rates -especially in indigenous communities- and the need to carry out consultations in accordance with international standards, among others, in order to undertake megaprojects.

The High Commissioner also signed a collaboration agreement on the National Guard and another on the collaboration of the agency in charge of the investigation of the forced disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa (Guerrero, 2014).

The former president of Chile stressed that the new authorities of the country “have recognized that Mexico has a human rights crisis,” that there is political will to move forward with the pending issues and that “President Lopez Obrador has expressed his willingness to implement a change of paradigm.” She stressed that in the case of the National Guard, the Mexican government is talking about “accountability, transparency, human rights indicators that allow us to see if the National Guard is indeed going in the right direction or is deviating.” “The office will not hesitate to raise the alarm if it sees that there is any type of situation that does not correspond to the spirit of what is sought and the spirit of the agreement”, she said.

In the Ayotzinapa case, she said: “My office will be an ally that will not hesitate to contribute to progress and at the same time will raise the alarm in case of non-compliance. We request to know the whereabouts of the boys”, she added.

For more information in Spanish:

Enfrentar las desapariciones forzadas es el problema central en México, insta Michelle Bachelet (ONU México, 9 de abril de 2019)

México tiene cifras de muertes violentas propias de un país en guerra: Bachelet (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

La ACNUDH asesorará la creación de la Guardia Nacional (Proceso, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet defiende a la sociedad civil: Es importante para la democracia, le dice al gobierno de México (Animal Político, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet se va desolada de tanto horror en México: “No sabía de todo lo que me he encontrado…” (Sin Embargo, 9 de abril de 2019)

Bachelet: como una guerra, las muertes violentas en México (La Jornada, 10 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Consultative Council on Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (April 11, 2019)

National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation (March 9, 2019)

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018

September 21, 2018

National / International: UN-DH denounces that 10 Human Rights Defenders have been murdered in Mexico until now in 2018 (September 21, 2018)

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National/International: Contrasting Mexican and US Government Approaches to Central American Migration

April 2, 2019

Migration.pngAGENCIAS/LIBERAL Olga Sanchez Cordero

Mexico is preparing to stop the growing flow of Central American migrants and for this it will establish a kind of containment belt of federal forces in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the narrowest part of the south of the country, and therefore the easiest to control.

This was announced on Wednesday by the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, a day after meeting in Miami with her American counterpart Kirstjen Nielsen. Sanchez Cordero stressed that the situation is especially complicated, because in Honduras the so-called “Mother Caravan” is forming, which could have more than 20,000 people.

“We are going to deploy the migratory, Federal Police and Civil Protection bodies and, harmoniously and with collaboration among all the federal government bodies, in such a way that we have the containment in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec,” she said. “That’s going to be the big change.”

Although she did not specify how many troops will be used for this plan or offer more details, Sanchez Cordero stressed that it will not mean the militarization of the border with Guatemala nor its hardening because it is not intended to affect the economic activity of that area, where people constantly flow on both sides of the border.

The flow of Central American migrants to the United States has multiplied since last year with the formation of caravans from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador (the well-known Northern Triangle) that have put Mexican and US authorities in check by saturating the shelters and the systems to request asylum or refuge, especially at the northern border of Mexico.

The detentions at the US-Mexico border increased to 66,450 in February, 149% more than in the same period last year, given the increase in the arrival of Central American families in search of asylum, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP in its English acronym). That agency estimates there were about 100,000 arrests in March. More than 55,000 of these immigrants would have arrived as a family, including 40,000 children.

The president of the United States Donald Trump increased his rhetoric against countries that are sources of migrants to the US, and last Saturday announced cutting off economic aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, countries that he accuses of sending migrant caravans deliberately. Given this, he announced that he would close the border or large sections of it, if the Mexican government does not slow the flow of migration.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, caused a diplomatic dispute with Honduras, which rejected the US and Mexican accusations in relation to the “Mother caravan”.

In his morning press conference, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was reiterative in his plan to promote cooperation for development, he recalled that the Central American countries are the main producers of migratory flows, as he assured that only between 10% and 15% of Mexican citizens are the crossing to the United States, of the total migratory intake of the US: “I say, nothing else to know where we stand.”

The president of Mexico was hopeful that the expulsion of Mexicans would stop, insisting on not wanting to fall into a dynamic of confrontations, particularly with the president of the United States, who has not shown prudence with his foreign policy.

Since his arrival in power in December, the Lopez Obrador government opted for the development of the countries of origin and for facilitating work visas for Central Americans, but shortly after opted to stop handing over humanitarian visas, which were granted more than 15,000 and with which the majority of caravan members crossed the country.

Now he is opting for more controlled visitor permits that, in addition, only allow the migrant to live and work in southern Mexico.

According to Sanchez Cordero, the United States will not contribute money to the new containment plan on the Isthmus but will have the technology and intelligence to detect who is behind the caravans and who is involved with organized crime or haa a criminal record.

“We are going to establish order for those who enter our country,” she said.

While Sanchez Cordero was making such statements in Mexico, a caravan of approximately 2,500 migrants crossed the southern part of the country and the US National Security Secretariat was in Tegucigalpa, where she held a six-hour meeting with internal security officials from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

In a meeting with the press after that meeting, Nielsen was satisfied with the agreements reached before what she described as “an unprecedented migration crisis.”

The US official did not give details about the agreements, but she sent a clear message: “We are united, we are committed, we are operating jointly and this is our message to the criminals: they will be captured and brought to justice.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ante amenazas de Trump por migrantes, “prefiero ser prudente”, reitera López Obrador (Proceso, 1 de abril de 2019)

Centroamericanos serán “contenidos” en el Istmo (Milenio, 28 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Secretaria de Gobernación se reúne con funcionarios del gobierno de Donald Trump para abordar el tema Migración (5 de marzo de 2019)

International/National: Registration of Humanitarian Visas for Migrants Closes (February 12, 2019)

National: Judge Recognizes Migrant Caravan Children and Adolescents as Refugees (March 6, 2019)

International/Mexico: Xenophobic Violence Erupts Against Migrants in Tecun Uman (February 1st, 2019)

National/International: Sanchez Cordero Warns Migrant Caravan Will Only Have “Orderly Access” to Mexican Territory (January 16, 2019)


National/International: Centro Pro DH Urges Foreign Ministry to Accept UN Committee on Forced Disappearance

March 26, 2019

Disappeared

In a statement published on March 19th, the Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center (Centro Pro DH in its Spanish acronym) reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE in its Spanish acronym) filed an appeal for review of an injunction ruling in favor of Maria Herrera Magdaleno and Juan Carlos Trujillo Herrera, mother and brother of the disappeared Raul, Salvador, Luis Armando and Gustavo Trujillo Herrera (in 2008 and 2010), the woman who called on the Foreign Ministry to decide on the acceptance of the expansion of the competence of the Committee against Enforced Disappearances of United Nations (CED) in individual cases in a period of 60 calendar days. She declared that this decision would allow “thousands of relatives of victims of disappearance to raise their cases with this international body.”

She said that the Foreign Ministry appealed the sentence stating that “it invades the sphere of competence of the Executive Power and that establishes a right that in its opinion does not exist: access to International Justice, in addition to granting a very short period to conclude the term of acknowledgment of competence of the CED Committee to hear about individual cases.”

The Centro Pro DH considered that this decision “represents a missed opportunity for the government of Mexico to recognize the competence of the CED Committee and to continue to demonstrate its commitment to human rights and international scrutiny.” It filed a motion for review again urging the Foreign Ministry to recognize this competence to hear individual cases in Mexico, “in line with the recognition that this administration has made on the grave humanitarian crisis the country is experiencing.”

It should be recalled that just on March 14th, the Mexican State accepted 262 of the 264 recommendations made in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), also from the UN. 25 of them are related to the problem of forced disappearances, and one of them being the admission of the competence of the CED Committee to analyze individual cases.

For more information in Spanish:

Poder Judicial resolverá sobre competencia del Comité contra Desapariciones Forzadas de ONU (Comunicado de prensa del Centro de Derechos Humanos Agustín Pro DH, 19 de marzo de 20199

Prodh pide a la SRE aceptar competencia de comité de la ONU ante crisis de desapariciones (Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Cancillería se niega a reconocer competencia de casos de desaparición forzada ante la ONU (Heraldo de México, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Piden a SRE aceptar competencia de ONU sobre desapariciones en México (Aristegui Noticias, 19 de marzo de 2019)

La SRE no admite la competencia de Naciones Unidas en desapariciones (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Para más información de SIPAZ: 

National/International: Mexico Accepts 262 of 264 UN Recommendations from 2018 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) (March 21, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in Ayotzinapa Case Set Up. Federal Judge Orders Investigation into Possible Responsibility of Attorney General Employees for Irregularities (January 22, 2019)

International/National: Mexico’s 2018 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) (November 14, 2018)


National: No Cancellations but No More Mining Concessions in Mexico – AMLO

March 24, 2019

Mining.pngPhoto @ Desinformemonos

In a press conference, the president of the republic Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said “that the Federal Government will respect all the mining concessions in the country and the permits will not be revoked.” He announced that during his government no more agreements of this type will be signed, since more than 25% of the national territory has been given over in the past 36 years. He said that since his campaign he had made the commitment that the concessions would not be revoked. AMLO guaranteed however that the communities where mining is carried out will benefit from the taxes paid by the mining companies.

He also mentioned that “it will seek that mining companies, particularly those of Canadian origin, carry out clean exploitation and act as they are obliged to do in their country.” “That the miner is paid well, that they pay the amount of taxes they pay there, and that they do not pollute.”

The statements contradict others issued by AMLO, in the municipality of Minatitlan, state of Colima, in 2014, which were published through the official website of the president through which he said that when the National Regeneration Movement triumphed, the concessions would be thoroughly reviewed for the mining exploitation that had been given to foreign companies. That wasbecause, he said, the riches of Mexico would have to be for the benefit of Mexicans, not foreigners.

Several newspapers also stressed that in February, during the Mexico Mining Forum 2019, the Undersecretary of Mining of the Ministry of Economy reported that “the cancellation of more than five thousand mining concessions in the country is being analyzed.”

Meanwhile, Miguel Mijangos Martínez, spokesman for Mexican Network of Those Affected by Mining (REMA in its Spanish acronym) stated that “the policy of the federal government has very mild nuances. If we see the problem of the extractive model as a whole, mining, water, biodiversity, fracking (hydraulic fracturing), gas … there are no significant changes. In REMA we think that the positions of power were reinforced, because now there are former entrepreneurs in public positions, (and that is) a position of advantage against the communities”, according to La Jornada. It stated that more than teo thousand rural communities in about 50 municipalities of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Puebla, Guerrero, Chihuahua and San Luis Potosi have declared themselves free of mining through legal actions.

Many of these communities continue with their demands for the cancellation of concessions in their territories, among them the Zapotec peoples of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca and the Wixarikas of San Luis Potosi. The latter hope to be able to engage in dialogue with the president on a final judgment given the injunctions that were processed in 2012 against the 78 concessions granted to two Canadian mining companies during the Felipe Calderon administration, which cover 70% of the 140,000 hectares of the protected natural area of Wirikuta.

For more information in Spanish:

Prevén otra ola de despojos de mineras y petroleras en México (La Jornada, 18 de marzo de 2019)

Al triunfo de MORENA, se revisarán las concesiones de explotación minera en México, asegura AMLO (Lopez Obrador, 21 de marzo de 2014)

No se otorgarán nuevas concesiones mineras: AMLO (La Jornada, 18 de marzo de 2019)

Impuestos por extracción minera llegarán a comunidades, asegura AMLO (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Wixárikas esperan diálogo con AMLO para proteger su territorio de mineras (Vanguardia, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Exigen a AMLO la cancelación inmediata y definitiva de las concesiones mineras en Oaxaca (El Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Frente Popular en Defensa del Soconusco “20 de junio” (FPDS) exige que se decalre el municipio de Acacoyagua “Territorio Libre de Minería” (26 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Zoque People’s Assembly against extractivism (September 20, 2018)

Oaxaca: Here we say “Yes to Life, No to Mining” – Magdalena Teitipac is still fighting for its territory (April 7, 2018)

Chiapas: No to Mining Press Conference (September 30, 2017)

 


National/International: Mexico Accepts 262 of 264 UN Recommendations from 2018 Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

March 21, 2019

UN.png

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)

2018: México será examinado por el Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU en el tercer ciclo del Examen Periódico Universal (EPU) (April 4, 2018)

National: 176 recommendations for Mexico during the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) (November 13, 2013)

Nacional: informe de OSC sobre DH rumbo al segundo Examen Periódico Universal (EPU) en octubre (July 12, 2013)


National/International: UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples Calls on AMLO Government to Comply with International Standards on Indigenous Consultation for Megaprojects in their Territories

March 19, 2019

UN.pngVictoria Tauli Corpuz (@UNO)

In her “Technical Note on Consultation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples in Mexico” published on March 5th, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, called on the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to comply with the international standards of the indigenous consultation regarding megaprojects in their territories. Given the “investment projects announced by the Government that could affect the rights of indigenous peoples and in particular, the intention to conduct citizen consultations to gather the opinion of the national population in general on the execution or not of those projects”, she said, “there is a lack of clarity on how the planned consultations will take into account the obligations of the Mexican State to implement specific processes of prior consultation with the potentially affected indigenous peoples in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent.” She stressed that “the processes of citizen consultation designed for the national population in general do not guarantee the safeguards of the rights of the indigenous peoples enshrined in the international standards of rights of the indigenous peoples”; specific rights “that derive from the distinct nature of the cultural models and histories of indigenous peoples, and because current democratic processes are usually not enough to address the particular concerns of peoples, who are generally marginalized in the political sphere.”

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz added that “through the publication of the technical note, I would like to contribute to the understanding and due implementation, by representatives of the State and indigenous peoples, of the international standards of human rights contained in the Declaration of the United Nations on the rights of indigenous peoples, whose adoption in 2007 was decidedly driven by Mexico, Convention No. 169 of the International Labor Organization and other international instruments and jurisprudence regarding the rights of indigenous peoples to consultation and prior informed consent that bind the State of Mexico.”

She said she would visit Mexico from March 11th to 16th, and that she was willing to meet with representatives of the federal government to address the issue.

For more information in Spanish:

Nota técnica sobre la consulta y el consentimiento libre, previo e informado de los pueblos indígenas en México (ONU, 28 de febrero de 2019)

Relatora de la ONU recuerda al gobierno federal que consulta indígena es obligatoria (Desinforménonos, 16 de marzo de 2019)

Consultas ciudadanas de Federación no garantizan derechos de pueblos: ONU (Ángulo 7, 14 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples Presents Report in Mexico City One Year after her Visit (October 22nd, 2018)

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: Mexico Ranked 99th of 126 in Rule of Law Index – World Justice Project

March 12, 2019

Index.pngPhoto @ CentroPro DH

At the end of February, the civil organization World Justice Project (WJP) published its “Index on Rule of Law 2019”, in which Mexico was ranked 99 out of 126 listed countries, worse than countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and its neighbor, Guatemala. At a Latin American level, Mexico is still considered one of the countries with the least respect for the rule of law, ranking 26 out of 30.

The results obtained by the WJP are “based on surveys in 120,000 households and 3,800 experts in 126 countries, and measures the perception and experience of the general population of the rule of law in practical and everyday situations.” The Index evaluates eight key categories: Limits to Government Power, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Compliance, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice.

Leslie Solis, researcher in the project, highlights in the report published by Animal Politico that the hot spots that Mexico should dedicate “immediate attention” to are: corruption, security and criminal justice. These factors are the worst valued by the citizens and the experts consulted, being in second last place regionally in two of the three categories. Jorge Morales, a member of WJP, adds that, “the rule of law in Mexico has not improved in recent years. Therefore, it is necessary to begin to change this situation with decisions based on evidence and data such as those shown in this Index, because these data will serve to identify weaknesses and strengths, and what are the priorities in the public policies to be developed, so that they have an impact on the population.”

Globally, the three countries with the highest rates are: Denmark, ranking leader, Norway and Finland; the last three, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cambodia and Venezuela, occupying last place. It is striking that in general more countries have obtained lower scores than the previous year, which according to the researchers “is a sign that suggests an increase in authoritarianism, the score of the factor ‘Limits to Government Power’ was the one that showed the highest deterioration: 61 countries decreased, 23 remained the same, and 29 improved.”

The founder of WJP, William Neukom, reiterates that, “the Rule of Law is the basis for communities to enjoy peace, equality and opportunities.” That is why the results of this research project are important as “a first step to establish reference points, inform and direct reforms.”

For more information in Spanish:

México, entre los países del mundo donde menos respeto hay por el Estado de Derecho: World Justice Project (Animal Político, 28 de febrero de 2019)

El Estado de Derecho continúa debilitándose en el mundo (World Justice Project, 28 de ferbrero de 2019)

México más corrupto que Venezuela: estudio de WJP 2019 (Vanguardia, 1 de marzo de 2019)

For more infromation from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: denuncian grave incremento de la violencia feminicida en el primer bimestre de 2019 (18 de febrero de 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: ONU-DH condena asesinatos de defensores y periodistas en Chiapas y Baja California. Cuestiona eficacia del Mecanismo de protección gubernamental para dichos sectores (25 de enero de 2019)

International/National: Mexico’s 2018 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) (November 14th, 2018)

International/National: Human Rights Watch Publishes Report on Human Rights Situation in Mexico and the World
(February 4th, 2018)