National/Internacional: Mexico accepts 166 of the 176 recommendations released by the United Nations

March 30, 2014

índiceOn 20 March, the Mexican government presented in an addendum its observations regarding the 176 recommendations it had received in October 2013 during its evaluation before the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which took place during the 25th period of sessions of the UN Human Rights Council.  The UPR is a mechanism of periodic evaluation of the UN HRC, created in 2006 to consider the situations that prevail on the question in each of the 193 member-nations.

The Mexican State affirmed that “there has been a large acceptance of the recommendations made by the member-nations.”  It added that the federal government would design a mechanism coordinated with governmental institutions that would guarantee the participation of civil organizations to evaluate progress on the recommendations.  It noted that said recommendations were taken into account for the construction of the National Program in terms of human rights that will soon be presented.

Regardless, civil-society organizations lamented that Mexico has rejected observations on questions “such as the elimination of ‘community control’ and the recognition of the competence of the Committee on Forced Disappearance to receive individual complaints.”  They noted that, the optimistic view of the authorities notwithstanding, the human-rights situation in Mexico continues to be grave.

They added that “in accordance with the information provided by the Mexican government, it is from now that the national process to design a mechanism to observe and follow the received recommendations,” a process which they will follow closely to assure that “the commitments do not remain only on paper, but rather that they be translated into true changes for human rights in the country.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Respuesta de México a las recomendaciones del Mecanismo de Examen Periódico Universal del Consejo de Derechos Humanos(Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, marzo de 2014)

Defiende México ante la ONU la figura del arraigo (Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

Acepta México 166 de 176 recomendaciones de la ONU en derechos humanos (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado conjunto: Esencial que compromisos asumidos en el Examen Periódico Universal se traduzcan en cambios reales en México (OSC, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Tres recomendaciones de ONU omitirá México (El Universal, 21 de marzo de 2014)

Sesión completa de México ante el Consejo DDHH: Mexico, UPR Report Consideration (61 min.).

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Mexico: Mexico undergoes the Universal Periodic Review (13 February 2009)

Mexico: The Mexican republic rejects recommendations made by the UPR (16 July 2009)

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Chiapas : Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico”

March 15, 2014

foro-infancia

On 1 March, Melel Xojobal A.C., REDIM (Network of the Rights of the Child in Mexico), and REDIAS (Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas) organized the first regional forum of NGOS on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico.”  The forum intended to create space for analysis and dialogue toward the end of joining together the work of civil organizations which labor in favor of the rights of children, so that there be greater efficiency and cooperation in this struggle.

Despite representing 35% of the national population (more than 40 million persons), children control only 6% of the country’s budget, with only a small portion of this going toward their protection. Juan Martín Pérez García, director of Redim, recalled that the rights of the child “are human rights and not small rights,” adding that adolescents comprise a full 50% of all femicides committed in the country.  The doctor denounced that Mexico “is not implementing conditions to observe the rights of children.”  It should be noted that, among the 176 recommendations made to Mexico by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), just 7 refer to children and adolescents.

Children make up a third of Mexico’s population and 40% of the population of Chiapas.  Lamentably, the situation of children in the latter context is very difficult: Chiapas is one of the places with the fewest legal tools enshrined into public policy, and the statistics for children in the state are among the worst in the country, always below the national average.  Chiapas has the least percentage of school attendance in Mexico and the lowest average number of years spent in formal education, but the majority of the population aged 12-17 is economically active.  Chiapas occupied third place in the number of adolescent pregnancies (15-19 years), and it is retrograde in terms of health-care access (42% of children lack such access, vs. 32% nationally); infant mortality reaches 19.5/1000 in the state, with 14.2/1000 being the national ratio.

In November, for the first time, Mexico will attend the VI Global Congress for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, which will coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Mexico in 1990.  This may be an opportunity to make visible the rights of youth, and to make them a reality….

For more information (in Spanish):

Llaman a trabajar por derechos de los niños (La Jornada, 2 de marzo de 2014)

Foro regional en atención a los derechos de niños y niñas (Cuarto Poder, 1 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: denunciation of acts of “social cleansing” in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (16 November 2012)

Chiapas: Justice is demanded in the case of the feminicide of the youth Itzel Yanet Méndez Pérez (16 May 2012)

Chiapas: XV Aniversario de Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)


Guerrero: Impunity prevails against human-rights defenders

December 18, 2013

120306 Obtilia Eugenio Manuel OPIM

Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, human-rights defender. Photo @SIPAZ

In observation of the International Human Rights Day (10 December), the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (TDT Network) sent a letter to the state governor of Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, to warn that the state is one of the most dangerous places for journalists, activists, and human-rights defenders.  Different civil organizations have urged the governor to provide instructions to guarantee their security and protection.  In the public letter are recalled aggressions, murders, and disappearances of activists such as Eva Alarcón y Marcial Bautista (whose whereabouts have been unknown since 7 December 2011) and Jorge Alexis Herrera Pino and Gabriel Echeverría de Jesus, students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa (murdered on 12 December 2011), among others.

On 23 October, the UN Human Rights Council showed in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that Mexican women who advance social causes and engage in journalist are attacked with insufficient attention being provided to the question by authorities.  In accordance with data from the TDT Network, from 2010 to 2012 there were registered 25 murders of human-rights defenders, with 118 attacks and seven murders of such workers in 2012 alone.  In 99% of the denounced cases there have been no arrests, and for this reason impunity prevails.  The TDT Network is comprised of 74 organizations from 20 states, including the Migrant Home of Saltillo, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights, and the National Center for Social Communication (Cencos), among other groups.

For more information (in Spanish):

Prevalece impunidad en Guerrero contra defensoras de DH (CIMAC Noticias, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

Urgen ONG’s seguridad y justicia para defensores a gobierno de Guerrero(Noticias MVS, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

Exigen 97 organizaciones al gobernador seguridad para los defensores de los derechos humanos (El Sur de Acapulco, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: NGOs call on Peña Nieto to observe the sentences on Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo (2 May 2013)

Guerrero – briefs: Mexican State recognizes responsibility in case of Valentina Rosendo (21 December 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: NGO demands that Calderón observe sentence in case of Valentina Rosendo and Inés Fernández (28 November 2011)

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


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

November 13, 2013

índiceDuring the second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) carried out by the UN Human Rights Council (HCR) with reference to Mexico in Geneva, Switzerland, on 23 October, member-states released 176 recommendations for the Mexican government–four years ago, the government received 91.  These recommendations reflect serious criticisms made of the Mexican government, making reference to 29 subjects addressed by representatives from 89 countries.

The points which were most stressed included the lack of protection for human-rights defenders and journalists, the persistence of laws allowing for community control and military tribunals in the case of human-rights violations committed by soldiers, in addition to the situation of women and other vulnerable social groups, such as migrants and indigenous peoples.

Mexican ambassador Juan José Gómez Camacho accepted before the UN that “if we congratulate ourselves for our progress in terms of human rights, there still exist important challenges to be overcome.  In terms of human rights, all efforts can surely be improved and should be intensified.”

Different civil organizations emphasized for their part that although the Mexican government has presented different legal initiatives in terms of human rights, it has not done enough to carry them into practice, nor has it ratified international accords which would demonstrate its commitment in this sense.

It is important to stress that the questions addressed by the UPR this time had also been raised during the previous UPR of 2009.  Now, four years later, these continue to be pressing issues.  Mexico should analyze these recommendations, and in March 2014 report to the UNHCR its plan of action to observe these.

For more information (in Spanish):

Abolir arraigo y discriminación, exigencia a México en la ONU (La Jornada, 26 de octubre de 2013)

México no aplica las reformas en derechos humanos, acusan (La Jornada, 25 de octubre de 2013)

México acepta rezagos en derechos humanos ante ONU, responderá hasta marzo (CNN México, 25 de octubre de 2013)

Derechos Humanos en México: impunidad persistente (La Jornada, 24 de octubre de 2013)

Mexico recibe 180 recomendaciones por violación a DH (El Universal, 23 de octubre de 2013)

Sesión completa del EPU México en Ginebra (3h 24 min.)

For more information from SIPAZ (in Spanish):

Mexico: Mexico undergoes the Universal Periodic Review (13 February 2009)

Mexico: The Mexican republic rejects recommendations made by the UPR (16 July 2009)


Mexico: The Mexican Republic rejects recommendations made by UPR

July 16, 2009
Universal Periodic Review: Mexico is reviewed - A country without human rights is not democratic

Universal Periodic Review (UPR): A country without human rights... is not a democracy

On February 2009, during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Mexico received various recommendations to advance human rights work. On June 11th of this year, Mexico responded to the recommendations during the sessions at the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. This new report has been widely criticized by various Human Rights organizations in Mexico: in one communique on July 12th, organizations stated that Mexico has flagrantly rejected recommendations relative to military justice, the impunity and past crimes, the definition of organized delinquency, and the judicial figure of the pre-trial detention. The communique states other issues in which Mexico has shown impotence or lack of interest to comply as a Republic of justice: violence against women, femicide, and legislative justice.

In its defense, Mexico exposed a series of facts that were considered as advances. One of these was the constitutional reform in matter of human rights. Nevertheless, the so called reform does not give constitutional priority to human rights, and as a consequence it misses the opportunity to give international human rights treaties constitutional ranking.

With concern, the organizations signing the press release including the Human Rights Center Fray Francisco Victoria, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, the Human Rights Center Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, and the Human Rights Center de la Montaña, Tlachinollan, conclude that “the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has given us an opportunity so the international and national communities can become aware that a great deficit in the topic of human rights exists. The recommendations made by the UPR are added to the great number of recommendations that the Mexican State has recieved in last eleven years. What we now need is political will and effective actions by the federal government and from the state governments to implement them in their entirety.”

For more information (spanish only):

More information from SIPAZ:


Guerrero: National and international organizations demand an investigation into the killing of the two human rights defenders

March 2, 2009

National and International organizations from the civil society, including SIPAZ, have joined together in order to condemn the extrajudicial executions of­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Raúl Lucas Lucía y Manuel Ponce Rosas, two human rights defenders from the Organization for the Future of the Mixteco People (OFPM). All of these organizations signed a statement written by Insyde (Institute for Security and Democracy) and Fundar (Center of Investigations and Analyis), demanding an immediate and impartial investigation into the forced disappearance and killing of Raúl Lucas and Manuel Ponce. The letter states, “Organizations from Mexico and the rest of the world demand an immediate investigation in order to explain the extrajudicial executions of Raúl Lucas Lucía and Manuel Ponce Rosas, protect their families integrity, and guarantee reparations for the victims families”.

In addition, the Presidency of the European Union has condemned the torture and extrajudicial executions of the two human rights defenders. In a letter, they state: “the Presidency calls for strict punishment of those responsible, and in addition urges that human rights defenders of the indigenous population be given protection so that more attacks do not occur”.

Also international human rights organizations like Amnesty International (AI), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) of the United Nations have denounced the killing of the human rights defenders.

The letter signed by organizations from the civil society also demands that the Mexican State comply with the recommendations made by the Human Rights Council of the UN as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on February 10. The recommendations include the necessity of “Increasing the effectiveness of preventative measures for the protection of human rights defenders”.

For More Information:

Statement written by Insyde-Fundar and signed by organizations from the civil society.

Mexico: Further Information on Fear for safety, Amnesty International, (2/25).

IACHR CONDEMNS MURDER OF INDIGENOUS LEADERS IN MEXICO, IACHR (2/24).

More Information in Spanish:

Comunicado de la Presidencia de la Unión Europea (25/2)

Condenan CIDH, ONU y AI ejecución de dos defensores de derechos en Guerrero, La Jornada (25/2)

More Information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: the bodies of two mixteco leaders, reported dissapeared since February 13, are found, SIPAZ Blog, (2/24).