National: Mexico, second-worst country in terms of impunity

April 24, 2015

Presentación IGI 2015 (@UDLAP)

IGI 2015 presentation (@UDLAP)

On April 20, the results of the 2015 Global Impunity Index (IGI) were presented, by the University of the Americas in Puebla (UDLAP).  The study’s authors concluded that Philippines, Mexico, Colombia, Turkey, and Russia are the worst countries in terms of impunity–in this order.  It should be stressed, nonetheless, that the analysis of official data regarding security, justice, and human rights was applied to only 59 countries, not the 193 member-nations of the United Nations, given that 134 lack the requisite systematic information.

The report establishes a series of recommendations: for example, the need to have more judges in the justice system (the index estimates an average of 17 judges per 100,000 citizens, while Mexico has only 4 per 100,000), or the fact that “it is not necessary to invest more resources to expand the number of police, but rather this should be focused on the effective guarantee of their actions,” especially when “a deficiency is seen in nearly half of the population arrested without charge (46%).”

For more information (in Spanish):

México ocupa el lugar 58 de 59 países en materia de impunidad (UDLAP, 20 de abril de 2015)

Alertan por niveles de impunidad en México (El Universal, 21 de abril de 2015)

México es el segundo país con mayor impunidad en el mundo, según informe(CNN México, 21 de abril de 2015)

La Impunidad en México (El País, 21 de abril de 2015)

México, el segundo país con más altos índices de impunidad (sólo debajo de Filipinas) (Animal Político, 20 de abril de 2015)

México, segundo lugar en Índice Global de Impunidad (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2015)


National: Launch of initiative “Society responds” amidst the “crisis of impunity, corruption, and human-rights violations”

April 21, 2015

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On 26 March, a forum entitled “Society responds: Proposals to confront the crisis of impunity, corruption, and human-rights violations” was held in Mexico City.  The first part of the event was an open dialogue to characterize the situation experienced in the country, while the second focused on initiatives supported by more than 30 civil organizations.

“Civil society responds” is offered as “an initiative that seeks to intervene in public debate to establish a civil agenda amidst the crisis of impunity, corruption, and human-rights violations that include alternative proposals for legislative reform, institutional reconstruction, and concrete actions based in lessons learned and successful experiences from other countries that have passed through similar crises.”

Some of the proposals include “to strengthen the ministerial institutions that investigate grave human-rights violations, to overcome the obstacles inhibiting the observance of the International Convention for the Protection of All People against Forcible Disappearance, to guarantee the correct institution of the new penal-justice system, changing practices as well; to retire the armed forces from security tasks; to reformulate public policy to prevent, sanction, and eradicate gender violence, using specific strategies to deal with crimes committed by State agents; to approve the pending normative tasks in terms of transparency and protection of personal data; and to guarantee processes for transparent public institutions, among other measures.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Estas son las 20 propuestas de la sociedad civil contra la impunidad (Animal Político, 27 de marzo de 2015)

Menos queja y más propuesta… lanzan un sitio con ideas ciudadanas para ‘salvar’ a México (Animal Político, 26 de marzo de 2015)

Página Web: http://www.sociedadresponde.org/


Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and crime against humanity

April 10, 2015

20150205_164829Photo @SIPAZ

The first report from the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), a branch of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), indicates that the forcible disappearance of the 43 students on 26 and 27 September 2014 in Iguala amounts to a crime against humanity.  The families of the youth and the organizations which accompany them welcomed this first conclusion from the GIEI.  They expressed that the primary recommendations, which call on the Mexican State to treat the case as a forcible disappearance, gives the hope that justice and truth will soon prevail.  Among the requests made by the Group, stress is placed on gaining access to a digital copy of the evidence that is available to the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), treating the case as a forcible disappearance, establishing a mechanism of medical attention for the relatives in the region, and urgently providing the comatose student Aldo Gutiérrez with a second neurological evaluation, beyond protecting the evidence that exists and continuing with the searches.

On 23 March, relatives of the students and representatives of civil organizations announced that the Mexican government lied to the IACHR during the audience on “Denunciations of forcible disappearance and impunity in Mexico.”  Manuel Olivares, director of the “José María Morelos y Pavón” Center for Human Rights, located in Chilapa, Guerrero, denounced that, contrary to what the State officials said, there existed no search protocol in the Ayotzinapa case, and that the demand for the presentation with live of the students has not been met, either.  “The response from the State is highly inadequate,” he concluded.

In other news, the report indicates that two units from the Reaction Force of the 27th Infantry Batallion, based in Iguala, were patrolling the streets from 11pm on 26 September until 6am the next day.  The soldiers saw the dead, invaded the hospitals in which the injured were found, and were fully knowledgeable of the gunfire and attacks.  On 27 September, the students were looking for their disappeared comrades in the streets, while others made reports to the Ministry of the Interior, but the report from the patrols provided by the 27th Batallion that day claims it to have been a day “without news.”  This information is contained within one of the documents provided to Proceso by the Secretary for National Defesne (SEDENA) in accordance with the Law on Transparency.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familiares de normalistas saludan informe de expertos de CIDH, que acusa desaparición forzada (Centro Prodh, 20 de marzo de 2015)

Insatisfactorias, respuestas de Estado ante CIDH por desaparición forzada (Centro Prodh, 23 de marzo de 2015)

En manos del PJF, petición de la CIDH sobre desaparición forzada (La Jornada, 24 de marzo de 2015)

Ayotzinapa: sus propios informes comprometen al Ejército (Proceso, 21 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (6 de marzo de 2015)

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


Guerrero: Impunity one year after the murder of Rocío Mesino Mesino, OCSS leader

October 26, 2014

(@cencos.org)

(@cencos.org)

In an announcement, the National Network of Human-Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM) and the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH) recalled Rocio Mesino Mesino, the leader of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS), who was murdered on 19 October 2013 in the Mexcaltepec community, Atoyac de Álvarez municipality, in Guerrero state.

The two organizations expressed their “indignation for the impunity which prevails in the murder of the defender.  One year after the fact, we have testified to the total lack of advance in investigations: to date, none of the material or intellectual authors of the murder have been judged, despite the existence of portraits that have been derived from the testimony of witnesses, and despite the fact that her family is disposed to assisting with the investigation.  The lack of serious, diligent, and impartial investigation has generated an even greater debt with OCSS, the Mesino family, and all human-rights defenders in Mexico, particularly those who live in Guerrero.”

The groups denounced “the threats and acts of harassment [seen] against relatives of the defender and members of her organization, which have kept them in constant danger and has inhibited the full exercise of the defense of human rights in the Costa Grande of Guerrero.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de OSC: Rocío Mesino, un año de impunidad (Ciudadanía Expres, 19 de otcubre de 2014)

Reclaman la impunidad en el crimen de la líder de Ocss (La Jornada de Guerrero, 20 de octubre de 2014)

Rocío Mesino: Un año de impunidad, tras su asesinato en Guerrero(VocesOaxaca, 20 de octubre de 2014)

Condenan defensores de derechos humanos la impunidad en el asesinato de Rocío Mesino (El Sur de Acalpulco, 20 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: murder of a social activist from the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra (12 November 2013)

Guerrero: Murder of leader of the Organization of Ecologist Campesinos of the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán (7 December 2012)

Guerrero: two nephews of ecological leadership are murdered (16 November 2012)

Guerrero: Urgent Action for disappeared ecologists (8 February 2012)

Guerrero briefs: Two ecologists are kidnapped by armed men in the Sierra de Petatlán (14 December 2011)


Nationa: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico

May 16, 2014


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Upon completing his visit of 12 days to the country, Juan E. Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishments, affirmed that torture is a “generalized phenomenon” in Mexico.  He recognized that the statistics on the prevalence of torture are on the decline, but he doubted that this in fact means that torture as practiced has similarly declined.  He located impunity and the regular use of torture as a “means of criminal investigation” as great problems in this sense.

In a press conference held on 2 May, Méndez presented the preliminary conclusions of his visit, stressing the numerous denunciations he received.  He also recognized progress on the question, for example on the use of military tribunals and a handful of the sentences handed down by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN).  He expressed his worry for the continued militarization of various regions of the country, in addition to the persistent participation of military commanders in civilian security forces.

As part of his preliminary recommendations, Méndez proposed a decrease in the resort to the use of “community control,” comprehensive reparations by those affected by torture, expeditious investigations into presumed human-rights violations, the standardization of torture at the national level with international standards, and the regulation of the use of legitimate public force.

For more information (in Spanish):

La tortura está “generalizada” en México: ONU (entrevista CNN México, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Generalizada en México, la tortura como medio de investigación: relator de la ONU (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2014)

Para erradicar la tortura hay que suprimir la idea de que es normal: relator de la ONU (La Jornada, 4 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de organizaciones chiapanecas por visita del Relator Especial sobre la Tortura de la ONU (2 de mayo de 2014)

Presentarán a relator de la ONU 18 casos de tortura en Chiapas(Proceso, 28 de abril de 2014)

Informe sobre Tortura en Guerrero (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan)

Tortura, “práctica terriblemente cotidiana en México”, acusan ONG ante relator de la ONU (Proceso, 22 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Special rapporteur on torture begins visit to Mexico (29 April 2014)

National: International organizations conclude observation mission on torture in Mexico (10 June 2013)

Mexico: UN Committee against Torture expresses grave concern for the practice of torture in Mexico (9 November 2012)

National: Amnesty International presents report regarding use of torture in Mexico (19 October 2012)


Chiapas: Civil organizations pronounce themselves on the conflict in the Puebla ejido 5 months after its beginning

November 12, 2013

Desplazadas de ejido Puebla. Foto @Sipaz

Five months following the beginning of the violent acts which resulted in the forced displacement of 98 persons from the Puebla ejido, 11 Mexican civil-society organizations have published a pronunciation which indicates the tepid intervention from the state government regarding the investigation and judicial intervention in the case, in light of the 3 penal denunciations that have to date been submitted by those affected the violent acts.  These persons still remain wardens of the state justice system.

“Impunity leads to the chronic repetition of human-rights violations and the total lack of defense of the victims and their relatives.  All of this must be resisted by all the media which can do so,” notes the declaration.

In this sense, the organizations signing this declaration have formulated a series of demands which include the immediate cessation of violence and protection for residents suffering from harassment in the Puebla ejido, in addition to the creation of conditions favorable to the guaranteed return of displaced families, the investigation of the acts, the delineation of responsibilities regarding the aggressions and human-rights violations committed, and penal action against those who are responsible.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento: Impunidad ante desplazamiento forzado de 98 personas del ejido Puebla (CDH Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 17 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Solidarity requested for those displaced from the Puebla Colony (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: After attempting to return, the displaced of the Puebla Colony transfer themselves to Acteal (13 September 2013)

Chiapas: Increase in violence in Puebla Colony, Chenalho (4 August 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society, “the government is using two weapons in its strategy, lead bullets and sugar bullets” (25 June 2013)


Mexico: AI demands that the Secretary of Governance takes on its task of guaranteeing security and human rights following the restructuring of the State

January 15, 2013

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In a press-bulletin, Amnesty International (AI) requested that the Secretary of Governance take on its obligation to guarantee security and human rights following the restructuring of the public administration on 3 January, the day when the Secretary for Public Security (SSP) was eliminated, having been integrated into the Secretary of Governance, including the management of the federal police.  AI recalls that “during the six-year term of former president Felipe Calderón, the SSP took on a protagonistic role in the strategy against organized crime, one that has left more than 60,000 dead and thousands others disappeared.  The use of torture and abuse as well as arbitrary arrests was routine on the part of the security forces during that period.”

Amnesty International observed that it “considers that the conduct of exhaustive and impartial investigations into the thousands of murders and disappearances which occurred in recent years should be a priority, not only to guarantee access to justice for the families of the victims, but also so as to determine the cases in which there was participation or material aid on the part of agents of the State.  Without truth, justice, and transparency, it will not be possible to restore confidence from Mexican society in the justice system and the security forces.”

For more information (in Spanish):

AI exige a Gobernación respetar los derechos humanos y garantizar la seguridad (La Jornada, 8 de diciembre de 2012)

AI confía en el nuevo sistema de seguridad mexicano (El Universal, 7 de enero de 2013)

Llamado a la Secretaría de Gobernación para asumir su deber de garantizar seguridad y derechos humanos (AI, 7 de enero de 2013

La Gendarmería Nacional bajo la lupa de los derechos humanos Director del área de defensa de la Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos El Universal, Blog, 7 de diciembre de 2013)


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