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: AMLO Confirms Head of National Guard Will Be Serving Military Officer

April 9, 2019

NatG.pngNational Guard Uniforms (@Cuarto Oscuro)

At a press conference on April 5th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) confirmed that the head of the National Guard command will be an active military officer whose name will be announced in the near future, as well as that of the people who will form the General Staff of the new security corps, which will also be composed of representatives of the Federal Police, the Navy and the Army.

With this, the request of the head of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, that the command be civil, a request which echoes the demands of broad sectors of society, who consider the strategies of security focused on militarization have not worked.

In this regard, Lopez Obrador said he explained to the head of the CNDH “why he thought that the commander should be a military head of the National Guard, because we will have the support of the Army, I am talking about a reconversion in the Army and we need elements of this institution, also with experience, with discipline, with rectitude, with honesty, with professionalism and we already have it.” AMLO stressed that the National Guard will go through a process of training on two fundamental issues: human rights and “moderate, regulated use of force.” He recalled that 50 thousand more elements will be needed to cover the 236 territorial locations – it will begin with 150 – in which the country was divided. Finally, he declared that “I only want it to be also clear that the president of Mexico is at the same time supreme commander of the Armed Forces, and I am never going to give the order to the Army, to the Navy, to any body to repress the people of Mexico.”

For her part, the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero said that, “we have a problem of violence and security in our country that we are committed, at least, to try to solve efficiently.” She emphasized that the new strategy will focus on guaranteeing security to the population and no longer on specific operations against a cartel.

For more information in Spanish:

Guardia Nacional o guardia militar (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de abril de 2019)

Cifra récord de militares en las calles, con AMLO (El Economista, 7 de abril de 2019)

Comandará militar en activo la Guardia Nacional: AMLO (La Jornada, 6 de abril de 2019)

Un militar en activo encabezará la Guardia Nacional, confirma López Obrador (Proceso, 5 de abril de 2019)

Jefe de Guardia Nacional será militar en activo, confirma AMLO; No es una burla, defiende Gobernación (Animal Político, 5 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: NGOs, Activists and CNDH Insist on Necessity that National Guard Be “Truly Civil” (April 8, 2019)

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

National: Senate Will Not Approve National Guard Bill. Morena and #SeguridadSinGuerra Propose Alternatives (February 13th, 2019)

National: Deputies Approve National Guard amid Doubts in the Executive (January 24th, 2019)

National: Public Hearings to Debate the Creation of National Guard Begin (January 15th, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Asks Congress for Civil Controlled National Guard and that it Last Five Years Maximum (January 2nd, 2019)


National: NGOs, Activists and CNDH Insist on Necessity that National Guard Be “Truly Civil”

April 8, 2019

National Guard.png@Juan Carlos Cruz, Cuarto Oscuro

On March 31st, over 50 civil organizations, academics and activists, including #SeguridadsinGuerra published a statement in which they insisted on the need for a “truly civilian” National Guard. The decree that will allow its creation was published five days before. They expressed their concern about the possibility of it ending up being a military body if it is confirmed that the recruitment, training and operation will be in the charge of the Armed Forces taking the risk that “the only civil thing about this guard will be their administrative disguise.”

They asked President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to fulfill his campaign promises and “no longer insist on militarizing the country” by stressing that the indications sent by the Federal Government point towards the construction of a military body. They recalled in particular that as recently as March 27th, AMLO declared that it was not ruled out that the National Guard should have as a commander an active member of the military.

“It would be a militarization that does not dare to speak its name, a simulation and a betrayal of the meaning of the reform approved by Congress … it should already be clear that military structures have not served or will serve to address situations of public insecurity, especially when More than 90% of crimes committed in the country are not federal, but common law”, they said.

“It would also be an attack against the project of a democratic country that strengthens the rule of law and that places the defense of human rights as the highest priority”, they said.

“Mr. President, fulfill what you promised. No longer insist on militarizing the country, build a truly civil Guard, do not destroy the Federal Police and promote the development of our local police”, they concluded.

On the other hand, on April 3rd, Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, president of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym), met with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and also urged that the command of the National Guard be civil.

For more information in Spanish:

La CNDH pide a AMLO un mando civil para la Guardia Nacional durante su reunión en Palacio Nacional (Sin Embargo, 3 de abril de 2019)

Construya una Guardia verdaderamente civil, no insista en militarizar, exigen organizaciones a AMLO (Animal Político, 1ero de abril de 2019)

ONGs advierte militarización en Guardia Nacional (El Universal, 1ero de abril de 2019)

Critican activistas conformación de la Guardia Nacional (MVS Noticias, 31 de marzo de 2019)
Guardia Nacional se convertiría en corporación militar, advierten ONGs (OSC, 31 de marzo de 2019)

Ahora sí, todo está listo para crear la Guardia Nacional; Presidencia publica decreto (Animal Político, 26 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

National: Senate Will Not Approve National Guard Bill. Morena and #SeguridadSinGuerra Propose Alternatives (February 13th, 2019)

National: Deputies Approve National Guard amid Doubts in the Executive (January 24th, 2019)

National: Public Hearings to Debate the Creation of National Guard Begin (January 15th, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Asks Congress for Civil Controlled National Guard and that it Last Five Years Maximum (January 2nd, 2019)

National: Faced with Rejection of National Guard, AMLO Proposes New Consultation (December 12th, 2018)

National: Supreme Court Invalidates Security Law; AMLO Announces National Peace and Security Plan 2018-2024  (November 27th, 2018)

National: CNDH Asks SCJN to Declare Interior Security Law Unconstitutional (November 7th, 2018)

National: Reactions to Minister for Supreme Court’s Proposal on Interior Security Law (November 7th, 2018)

National: AMLO “The Army and the Navy will continue on the streets in internal public security tasks” (September 15th, 2018)


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)


Guerrero/National: More Information Published on Role of Army in Ayotzinapa Case

March 15, 2019

ayotzi@Cuartoscuro

The National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) has reported that it has corroborated a link between organized crime and the Mexican government in the forced disappearance of the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero, on September 26th, 2014. In addition, the Commission has declared that there was “connivance or collusion” between the local, state, and federal governments regarding the follow-up of the case. Additionally, the CNDH has indicated obstacles on the part of the authorities during its investigation that led to a series of recommendations at the end of 2018.

In December, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) in one of his first acts as the new president created by decree the Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in the Ayotzinapa case. On March 11th, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presented the Technical Support Group (TSG) that will provide technical support to the Mexican authorities to arrive at the truth in the facts. In presenting the new work plan, the president of the IACHR and rapporteur of that agency for Mexico, Esmeralda Arosamena de Troitiño, applauded the position of the new federal authorities, which unlike the previous administration, have opened an impulse that represents “a historic opportunity to break impunity.” During the event, the Undersecretary of the Interior for Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, remarked that the TSG will technically support all the open criminal investigation lines, which were not followed by the former Attorney General’s Office.

One of the most delicate in this sense is the role that the Mexican Army could have played in the events. On March 12th, a video was published that shows that Julio Cesar Lopez Patolzin, one of the 43 missing student teachers, had been recruited by the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA in its Spanish acronym) to infiltrate the Ayotzinapa School.

Faced with this, civil organizations accompanying the families of the 43 students declared that the video shows that the army “did not deliver or have given all the information it has about the Iguala case and its context (…) to more than four and a half years after the events.”

The second reason for concern, they said, is that it confirmed that SEDENA practices the infiltration of the Ayotzinapa School, which “does not delegitimize in any way the requirement of the relatives of Julio Cesar to know the whereabouts of their son.”

Finally, they stressed that this new material “confirms the urgent need for a thorough investigation into the role of the Armed Forces in this new phase” and that they provide “all information in their possession that is relevant to the full clarification of the whereabouts of the 43 students, as ordered in the presidential decree that instructed to establish effective material, legal and human conditions, to strengthen the human rights of the relatives of the victims of the Ayotzinapa case to the truth and access to justice, signed, among other authorities, by the President of the Republic, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of National Defense and the Secretary of the Navy.”

For more information in Spanish:

CNDH a ONU: “obstáculos y negativas” en caso Iguala (Milenio, 14 de marzo de 2019.)

Proceso y la historia del normalista-soldado infiltrado en Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 14 de marzo de 2019)

CNDH presenta recomendación por violaciones graves en caso Ayotzinapa (Excelsior, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Normalista de Ayotzinapa desaparecido era infiltrado de la Sedena (VIDEO) (Radio Formula, 13 de marzo de 2019)

Un normalista de Ayotzinapa era militar e informante del Ejército: reporte (ADN Politico, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Señalan necesidad de esclarecer papel del Ejército en caso Ayotzinapa SIDIDH, 13 de marzo de 2019.)

Abren, formalmente, nueva etapa de investigación por caso Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 11 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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 22nd, 2019)

Guerrero/National: Decree Establishes Truth Commission for Ayotzinapa Case

(December 19th, 2018)

Guerrero/National/International: CNDH and IACHR Ayotzinapa Reports  (December 14th, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Ayotzinapa, Four Years On…  (October 1st, 2018)

Guerrero/National: Incoming Government Confirms Creation of Truth Commission for Ayotzinapa Case (Aug. 13th, 12018)

 


National: Chamber of Deputies Approves Law that Creates National Guard after Three Months of Debate and Negotiation

March 9, 2019

National Guard.png(@Cuarotoscuro)

On February 28th, after three months of intense debates and negotiations, the plenary of the Chamber of Deputies approved the law that will allow the creation of the National Guard, with 463 votes in favor and one against by the independent member, Ana Lucia Riojas Martinez. The latter questioned that despite the approval of a civilian command, nothing prevents the National Guard from having a retired or licensed military officer. She also expressed on Twitter viewing “problematic and irresponsible such a long term (five years, the time that the National Guard will remain in the streets) and the absence of a transition plan to return the Army to barracks. The government leaves the responsibilities in the hands of its successor that are its own.”

After the modifications of the Senate, it was established that the National Guard would be a body with civilian control, with a term of five years to finalize its formation, during which the participation of the Armed Forces in public security tasks will be maintained. This new security force will have military discipline and training, and should have 150 thousand elements at the end of the current six-year term of office.

The discussion was passed on to local congresses given that the approval of at least 17 of them will be required before it can be enacted.

On another note, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, said that in April, Mexico will sign an agreement with the United Nations (UN) to train the National Guard in the field of human rights, an agreement that will take shape during the visit that will be made to the country by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and that will address “the definition of content, selection systems and training in the use of force.”

For more information in Spanish:

Guardia Nacional es aprobada por diputados tras 100 días de debates y modificaciones en el Congreso (Proceso, 28 de febrero de 2019)

Diputados aprueban la creación de la Guardia Nacional; pasa a los congresos estatales (Animal Político, 28 de febrero de 2019)

Aprueban en San Lázaro creación de la Guardia Nacional (La Jornada, 28 de febrero de 2019)

Cámara de Diputados aprueba creación de la Guardia Nacional en México (CNN México, 28 de febrero de 2019)

En abril, convenio de capacitación entre ONU y Guardia Nacional (La Jornada, 27 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Senate Will Not Approve National Guard Bill. Morena and #SeguridadSinGuerra Propose Alternatives (February 13th, 2019)

National: Deputies Approve National Guard amid Doubts in the Executive (January 24th, 2019)

National: Public Hearings to Debate the Creation of National Guard Begin (January 15th, 2019)

National/International: UNHCHR Asks Congress for Civil Controlled National Guard and that it Last Five Years Maximum (January 2nd, 2019)

National: Faced with Rejection of National Guard, AMLO Proposes New Consultation (December 12th, 2018)

National: Supreme Court Invalidates Security Law; AMLO Announces National Peace and Security Plan 2018-2024  (November 27th, 2018)

National: CNDH Asks SCJN to Declare Interior Security Law Unconstitutional (November 7th, 2018)

National: Reactions to Minister for Supreme Court’s Proposal on Interior Security Law (November 7th, 2018)

National: AMLO “The Army and the Navy will continue on the streets in internal public security tasks” (September 15th, 2018)

 

 

 

 

 


International: Trial Against German Company for Illegal Sale of Arms to Mexico Ends

March 6, 2019

Arms.png@n-tv

On February 21st, the trial against the German arms company Heckler & Koch in Stuttgart, for the illegal sale of arms to Mexico ended with sentences for a former head of sales and a member of the administrative staff. Between 2006 and 2009, Heckler & Koch delivered thousands of weapons to Mexico, including 4,219 semi-automatic G-36 rifles, two submachine guns and 1,759 gun barrels that arrived in Jalisco, Chiapas, Chihuahua and Guerrero, states where the export of weapons is prohibited by German law. The company itself will have to return all the profits of these sales amounting to 3.7 million euros (approximately 4.2 million dollars). The two individuals mentioned were sentenced to probation for 22 and 17 months with a fine of 80 thousand euros and 250 hours of social work. Three other employees, two former export managers and a sales assistant manager, were acquitted. The culprits obtained the export permit fraudulently, using false information from the Mexican government regarding the destination of the weapons.

During the sessions not only were there accusations against the German company, but also against politicians and members of the Armed Forces of Mexico, including the director of the Direction of Commercialization of Armament and Ammunition (DCAM in its Spanish acronym), Guillermo Aguilar, who received 117 thousand pesos as an accomplice to the events.

Jürgen Grässlin, activist and initiator of the trial, said that in this way thousands of German weapons were made available to state forces designated as co-opted by organized crime and responsible for serious human rights violations. Human rights organizations stressed that even legally imported weapons will end up in the hands of drug trafficking groups. A serious case of human rights violations in which a link with Heckler & Koch’s weapons was established is that of the 43 missing students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. It has been shown that these weapons were used in the violent events of September 27th, 2014.

Heckler & Koch reacted to the ruling with the promise of “fundamental changes to avoid unfortunate incidents in the future” such as a change in the internal compliance system and “to each potential distribution partner a rigorous compliance audit.” However, they criticized the ruling “that we should not only renounce the profits generated from the business in Mexico, but renounce the total sales price, despite the fact that none of the directors committed the offense.”

Also German pacifist organizations criticized the sentence for judging the company and its employees under the Law of Foreign Trade instead of the Law of Control of Weapons of War. The judges decided that the declaration to end use of arms is not part of the license to export arms, which is why the War Weapons Control Act cannot be applied. “If this ruling is maintained, the current controls on the export of weapons of war and military equipment do not work. You have to develop and introduce a new law to control the export of weapons that is effective”, said the German lawyer Holger Rothbauer. Other criticisms arose due to the absence of sentences against more influential employees. “This is a very clear case of two kinds of justice: the smallest are condemned and the biggest are let go,” said Jürgen Grässlin.

For more information in Spanish:

Multan a empresa alemana de armas usadas en caso de los 43 de Ayotzinapa (El Universal el 21 de febrero de 2019)

Juicio alemán por venta ilegal de armas a México concluye (El Universal el 21 de febrero de 2019)

Un tribunal alemán multa a Heckler & Koch por la exportación ilegal de armas a México (El País el 21 de febrero de 2019)

Condenas en Alemania por venta ilegal de armas a México (La Jornada el 21 de febrero de 2019)

Corte alemana condena a Heckler & Koch por exportar armas ilegalmente a México (Contra Linea el 21 de febrero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ :

International: Case against for Illegal Sale of Firearms to Mexico by Heckler and Koch Begins (June 25th, 2018)

Guerrero/National/International: New Reports on Ayotzinapa Case (March 27th, 2018)

International/National: CSOs Warn European Union about Human Rights Crisis in Mexico with Modernizing of Global Agreement (June 11th, 2017)

National/Guerrero: “No more arms sales to Mexico” – German Government (March 8th, 2015)