National/International: “When Words Are Not Enough” – Amnesty International Report almost One Year after AMLO Takes Office

December 4, 2019

AI

On November 27th, almost one year after the inauguration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) as the new president of Mexico, Amnesty International (AI) presented a report entitled “When Words Are Not Enough” in which it takes stock of progress made on the human rights crisis in the country.

“The government of President Lopez Obrador has shown a willingness to move forward partially on some initiatives, especially on the issue of disappearances in the country. However, after a year of his government, there are no substantial changes in the lives of millions of people facing a very serious human rights crisis that has lasted for more than a decade. The very high levels of violence that undermine the right to life, the torture that is still widespread, the alarming rates of violence against women, and a militarized security strategy more alive than ever, are a sign of the tragic reality in Mexico,” Erika Guevara Rosas, director for the Americas of Amnesty International, said.

Refarding advances, she considered that the decision of the government in August to recognize the competence of the Committee against Enforced Disappearances of the UN to review communications on individual cases, gave a solution to one of the repeated demands of relatives of missing persons and human rights organizations. “However, this measure has not yet been implemented.”

AI said it sees “a huge incongruity between what the government says and what it then does. It promises a more humane treatment for migrants and in need of international protection, but sends the National Guard to persecute and detain them. It says he will protect human rights defenders and journalists, but publicly discredits them. It is worrisome that human rights violations remain the rule in Mexico and not the exception,” Erika Guevara Rosas added.

Amnesty International concluded that “in order to achieve a substantial change in human rights, the government must stop blaming previous administrations for the situation and, instead, accept responsibility for what is happening in the present and seek solutions to address the serious debts pending in the matter, making sure that any policy of the current administration has human rights and its international obligations as a fundamental basis.”

For more information in Spanish:

Cuando las palabras no bastan (Amnistía Internacional, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

México: Amnistía Internacional alerta sobre la falta de avances en derechos humanos después de un año del nuevo gobierno (Amnistía Internacional, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

“Las palabras no bastan”, la evaluación de AI al gobierno de AMLO en materia de derechos humanos (Proceso, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

México mantiene crisis de derechos humanos en gobierno de AMLO según Amnistía Internacional (El Sol de México, 27 de noviembre de 2019)

Amnistía Internacional califica de “incongruente” la política de derechos humanos de López Obrador (El País, 28 de noviembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National: Un Human Rights Committee Issues 48 Human Rights Recommendations for Mexico (November 12, 2019)

National/International: Attacks on Migrant Defenders in Central America, Mexico and U.S. Increase (October 1, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Expresses Concern over Unresolved Issues in Mexico (September 22, 2019)

 


International/National : Un Human Rights Committee Issues 48 Human Rights Recommendations for Mexico

November 12, 2019

UN

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:

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

Internacional/Nacional: Alta Comisionada de la ONU para Derechos Humanos expresa preocupación ante varios pendientes en derechos humanos en México (5 de septiembre de 2019)

National/International: UNO Presents Diagnostic of Protection Mechanism of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (September 2, 2019)

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

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)


National: CNDH Demands Clarification of Crimes against Journalists in Mexico – 90% Remain in Impunity

November 8, 2019

 

Reporters@Futuro

On November 2nd, within the framework of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) demanded clarification of crimes against journalists which remain in impunity (90% of them according to their data).

It reported that “according to figures from this National Commission, since the year 2000, 153 homicides of journalists have been committed (16 were women), 21 more have been missing since 2005 and 53 attacks have been carried out against media facilities since 2006 , data that show the high level of violence that communicators face in Mexico.”

Their figures indicate that the states with the highest number of homicides against journalists are Veracruz, with 23 cases; Guerrero, 17; Tamaulipas and Oaxaca, 16 each, and Chihuahua, 14.

It finally added that 13 journalists were killed since the beginning of the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) and stressed that impunity is due to the “lack of prompt, diligent, professional and effective investigations by the Attorney General’s Office and Prosecutors that have not taken into account as a line of investigation the journalistic exercise of the victims.”

It asked for “forceful actions by the authorities of the three levels of government to generate favorable environments so that journalists and media can carry out their activities with full freedom” as well as “the commitment of all the authorities, especially those with a position of special relevance in the public service, so that they respect and recognize the contributions that journalists and media make to strengthening democracy, avoiding at all times disqualifying or discrediting their work, since the latter contributes to generating smear campaigns that hinder the exercise of journalism and place them in conditions of greater risk.”

For more information in Spanish:

Oaxaca, mortal para periodistas (NVI Noticias, 4 de noviembre de 2019)

CNDH urge esclarecer crímenes contra periodistas en México (El Sol de México, 2 de noviembre de 2019)

Demanda CNDH esclarecer el 90% de crímenes contra periodistas que permanece en impunidad lacerante –13 en los últimos once meses— por falta de investigaciones prontas, diligentes, profesionales y eficaces de Procuradurías y Fiscalías (CNDH, 2 de noviembre de 2019)

Están bajo protección de Gobernación 80 oaxaqueños (El Universal, 30 de octubre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UNO Presents Diagnostic of Protection Mechanism of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (September 2, 2019)

Oaxaca: Founder and Director of Community Radio Murdered. Tenth Journalist Murdered under AMLO Government (May 10, 2019)

Oaxaca: organismos internacionales piden garantizar la seguridad de la periodista oaxaqueña Soledad Jarquín Edgar (7 de junio de 2019) (4 de mayo de 2019)

Oaxaca: Reportero herido en atentado inicia huelga de hambre ante retiro de escoltas y nulos avances en investigación. (23 de abril de 2019)

Oaxaca: periodista es herido con arma de fuego en el Istmo de Tehuantepec (22 de marzo de 2019)

Oaxaca: siete periodistas denuncian amenaza colectiva vía Facebook (14 de marzo de 2019) (14 de diciembre de 2018)


National: New Pegasus Malware Internet Spying Attack on Mexican Journalists and Activists Reported

November 7, 2019

Pegasus@article19mex (Twitter)

The organization Network in Defense of Digital Rights (R3D in its Spanish acronym) published a report revealing that Pegasus malware that exploits a weakness in the WhatsApp messaging system continued to operate in Mexico during 2019.

In June 2017, during the six-year period of Enrique Peña Nieto, it was reported that several human rights defenders as well as journalists were spied on using malware, especially by the Attorney General’s Office (PGR in its Spanish acronym) and the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC in its Spanish acronym) although theoretically only it is intended to be used to investigate criminals and terrorists according to NSO Group, the Israeli spy company that created Pegasus spy software.

The malware program is simply run by a voice call regardless of whether that call is answered or not. From that, you can automatically access all the files, text messages, calls, photographs, passwords, stored data as well as geographical location, camera activation and the microphone of that cell phone.

According to the R3D report earlier this year, there was another spy attack on more than 1400 users whose telephone numbers had the area codes of Mexico, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, including 100 journalists and activists.

Last May after the discovery of the cyber attack, WhatsApp said that the fault was identified and resolved in its system but has failed to publish the exact number and identities of people affected by the attack, although some users received a notification informing them that with high probability they had been a target.

In the absence of such information and impunity in the case of 2017, the R3D is asking that they reveal who are responsible for this espionage attack. “We call for the transparent federal government [to reveal] which are the Mexican authorities that have acquired and used Pegasus, as well as the control measures that, where appropriate, have been implemented to prevent them from being used illegally and to avoid impunity in cases of abuse”, they said in a press conference on October 29th in Mexico City.

For more information in Spanish:

El programa Pegasus se instaló en teléfonos de 100 activistas y periodistas de más de 20 países (Proceso el 29 de octubre de 2019)

WhatsApp reveló que el software espía Pegasus operó en México durante 2019 (Infobae el 29 de octubre de 2019)

Ciberataque de espionaje Pegasus en México por WhatsApp (El Imparcial el 30 de octubre de 2019)

Alerta espionaje a mexicanos denunciado por Whatsapp (El Siglo de Durango el 31 de octubre de 2019)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Citizen Lab revela intento de hackeo con Pegasus a colegas de periodista asesinato (28 de noviembre de 2019)

Chiapas: Reporters Without Borders (RWB) and the Committee to Protect Journalists Describes State as “Red Flag” for Freedom of Press and Expression (November 27, 2018)

Guerrero: Article 19 urges to investigate political motivations in the case of the murder of the journalist, Gabriel Soriano (November 4, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)

National/International: Espionage of Journalists and Activists in Mexico (June 29, 2017)


International/National: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Expresses Concern over Unresolved Issues in Mexico

September 22, 2019

UNMichelle Bachelet (UNO News)

On September 4th, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed concern about the “terrible” situation of journalists and human rights defenders in Mexico at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland. She recalled that the Office of the High Commissioner in Mexico (UNHCHR) has “documented the murder of 11 journalists and 13 human rights defenders this year, an analysis was made on the Protection Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders and (…) We gave 104 recommendations to the government to strengthen it.” Bachelet called on the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to take them into account. Likewise, she expressed concern about the increase in violence in the country, in particular for femicides and the situation of women and girls in general.

On the issue of migration, she commented that “another alarming thing (…) is that on the border with the United States more than 332 people have died or disappeared since early 2019 and 24 of them are children. We don’t know if they were kidnapped, trafficked or enslaved.” She clarified that “when migration is restricted, it must always be in accordance with certain international standards.” She said that “countries like the United States are adopting policies that put people in a more vulnerable situation” underlining that “unfortunately the separation of families continues and hundreds of children in the United States are still being held there and we have also received reports of this in Mexico , but we don’t have figures yet (regarding Mexico).”

As regards the National Guard, she mentioned that “we are about to increase our collaboration with Mexican institutions in the implementation of the agreement with the National Guard.”

She also addressed the issue of disappearances, with 40,000 missing and 23,000 bodies that remain unidentified “due to the forensic crisis.” She recognized the announcement of the AMLO government to accept the competence of the UN Committee on forced disappearances to receive individual communications as a “step forward.”

In this regard, Erika Guevara Rosas, director of Amnesty International for the Americas, also stated: “The announcement of the Mexican government is an important sign of its will to achieve justice, truth, and reparation in cases of forced disappearance in the country. This issue, which for years has put a shadow on human rights in Mexico, requires all the efforts and resources available to find a solution.” For her part, Tania Reneaum, Executive Director of Amnesty International Mexico, said that “it is a good step towards the recognition of the responsibility of the State in the disappearance of people, and we hope it will be the beginning of a path to the certainty to which the more than 40 thousand families that continue to suffer the pain of uncertainty have a right”

For more information in Spanish:

ONU-DH: “Terrible”, la situación de periodistas y defensores en México; pide acatar recomendaciones (Proceso, 4 de septiembre de 2019)

ONU expresa preocupación ante ausencia de consultas a pueblos indígenas en México (Proceso, 4 de septiembre de 2019)

El mundo se aleja poco a poco de las soluciones globales para los problemas mundiales (ONU Noticias, 4 de septiembre de 2019)

México: Autoridades dan importante paso al anunciar que aceptarán la competencia del Comité de la ONU sobre desapariciones forzadas (Amnistía Internacional, 30 de agosto de 2019)

Acepta gobierno federal participación de comité de la ONU contra las Desapariciones Forzadas (Aristegui Noticias, 30 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: UNO Presents Diagnostic of Protection Mechanism of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (September 2, 2019)

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

National: Mechanism for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists Reviewed (March 31, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Condemns Murders of Defenders and Journalists in Chiapas and Baja California and Questions Efficacy of Government Protection Mechanism (January 31, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)

National: Federal Mechanism for Journalists and Defenders without Funding (October 14, 2018)


Chiapas: Federal Police Attack Migrants and Journalists at Migration Center in Tapachula

September 2, 2019

Migrants@laotraopinion

On the morning of August 26th, federal police attacked migrants and two journalists while they were dispersing a blockade in front of the Siglo XXI migration center in Tapachula.

The two journalists, Damian Sanchez and Jose E. Torres, reported that they were beaten and kicked by the police when they were already on the ground. Some migrants were injured by police as well, and one was taken to the hospital for medical attention.

According to journalists, before the confrontation, an member of the Federal Police imitated a monkey with a very derogatory and racist gesture, directed against African migrants.

In the confrontation, the Federal Police used shields and pepper spray. A police officer was also taken to the hospital.

The violence comes after 11 days of blockade by a group of African migrants, who have been in front of the Siglo XXI facility seeking to obtain a change in the treatment of migrants from Africa and Asia. In the past, a migrant from one of these continents could receive a document that gave him 20 days to leave the country, which allowed him to travel legally to the northern border, and eventually enter the United States. However, since July 10th, the National Migration Institute (INM in its Spanish acronym) issued an executive order that states that migrants from these backgrounds will have to leave the country through the southern border. It is not clear if this policy change responds to pressure from the administration of the US president, Donald Trump, to force the Mexican government to curb migratory flows.

For more information in Spanish:

Policías federales agreden a migrantes y periodistas en estación Siglo XXI en Chiapas Animal Político, 27 de agosto de 2019.

Investigarán agresión a reporteros tras protesta de migrantes africanos El Sol de México, 27 de agosto de 2019.

Policía Actuó apegada a derechos humanos en enfrentamiento con migrantes: SSPC El Universal, 27 de agosto de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

International/National: #DefensoresSinMuros-DefendersBeyondWalls Campaign Calls for End to Attacks against Defenders of Migrants’ Rights (July 8, 2019)

National/International: New Government Measures Seek to Curb Flow of Migrants (July 2, 2019)

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)


National: Work Begins on National Plan for Human Rights (PNDH)

June 20, 2019
pndh-1

@Serapaz

On June 12th, at an event led by the Secretary of the Interior Olga Sanchez Cordero and the Undersecretary for Human Rights, Population and Migration, Alejandro Encinas Rodriguez, the work began for the preparation of the National Human Rights Program 2019-2024 (PNDH in its Spanish acronym), and it is expected to be published in December by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Sanchez Cordero stressed that the “painful crisis in human rights was inherited by the current government” and affirmed that “the reality is not going to be invented, no matter how hard it is if we want to find a permanent solution”, particularly by the omnipresent factor of impunity. She said that, “presidential instruction, as a way to have a more just society, is to address the problems caused by inequality, violence, misogyny, impunity and corruption.” She stated that to build this national program there will be 15 forums, technical tables and other events throughout the country for the design of “the public policy that the country needs.”

The Undersecretary for Human Rights, Population and Migration, Alejandro Encinas, asked the federal public agencies to “get out of their comfort zone and address the very difficult reality of human rights,” including the issue of migration and refugee applicants. He acknowledged that, “our country has been subject to more than three thousand recommendations for violations (to these guarantees) from international organizations, both the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and other institutions that account for the seriousness of this problem.” It revealed the importance of the advising citizen council, before “an emergency situation that demands the firm action of the State, in concurrence with society.” The academic Clara Jusidman, the member of Services and Advice for Peace (SERAPAZ in its Spanish acronym) Dolores Gonzalez; the representative of UN-Women, Belen Sanz; Consuelo Morales of Citizens in Support of Human Rights (CADHAC in its Spanish acronym); Miguel Concha, from the Francisco de Vitoria Human Rights Center; the former Minister of the SCJN, Jose Ramon Cossio, the researcher Mauricio Merino and the representative of the UNHCHR, Jan Jarab. are members of this council.

Representing the council, Dolores Gonzalez stressed that, “the participation of all is required, the history of these exercises has made us skeptical, but the serious, unsustainable, intolerable reality that we live today forces us to deploy all possible resources to transform it. It will depend on the institutional commitment to the process, on the commitment that the victims and civil society put into this process, but above all on the conviction of each to break the mechanisms that perpetuate violence and that it is possible to get closer and closer to the truth, justice, reparation and measures of non-repetition, by which it is possible to build true peace.”

For more information in Spanish:

INICIA GOBIERNO DE MÉXICO DISEÑO DEL PROGRAMA NACIONAL DE DERECHOS HUMANOS 2019-2024 (Gobierno de México, 12 de junio de 2019)

Inician trabajos para el Programa Nacional de Derechos Humanos (Proceso, 12 de junio de 2019)

Instalación del Consejo Asesor del Programa Nacional para Derechos Humanos (Serapaz, 12 de junio de 2019)

Segob inicia Programa Nacional de Derechos Humanos 2019-2024 (SDP Noticias, 12 de junio de 2019)

No se maquillará la crisis de derechos humanos: SG (La Jornada, 13 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Seven Journalists and 11 HR Defenders Murdered in 2019 – UNHCHR (20 de junio de 2019)

National: Absence of President Lopez Obrador at Presentation of CNDH Report “Disheartening for the Defense of Human Rights” (June 9, 2019)

National/International: UNO and IACHR Warn of Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Latin America. At Least Ten Murdered in Mexico (June 6, 2019)