Friday, February 17, 2012


Mexico Human Rights and Rule of Law News - Week's Top Articles:

Feb. 10-16, 2012  

The establishment of the rule of law is critical to Mexico's development as a true democracy. Protection of human rights of citizens, women, human rights defenders, journalists and political activists is essential, as is the reduction of corruption at all levels of government and impunity in the society. 

To keep current with what is happening in Mexico regarding these vital issues, we offer this free weekly news digest, selected from the many daily posts published--along with commentaries from Americas Program analysts--on our Americas MexicoBlog

To be sure to continue receiving this weekly summary, please press 'Subscribe' in the right-hand column and select "Mexico Human Rights and Rule of Law Weekly Digest"

Human Rights and Rule of Law news centered on a speech by the Mexican Secretary of Defense, General Guillermo Galvan Galvan, in which he acknowledged two things: in parts of Mexico "public security ... is completely overrun," and that the Army has committed "mistakes" that violated human rights.

A Mexican Catholic bishop sharply criticized the militarization of the country as a strategy to intimidate the citizenry. Meanwhile, Mexico was reporting to a U.N. committee regarding the systematic  violation of the rights of indigenous people. The U.N. said it was happy with Mexico's improvements.

As for the Mexican government's efforts to build the rule of law, it announced the training--by U.S. experts--of 8,000 justice system personnel in how to collect evidence and conduct oral trials.

The Articles:

Defense Minister says Public Security 'Overrun'

InSight Crime: "Mexican Defense Minister Guillermo Galvan Galvan addressed the national security situation in the country, pessimistically describing it in stark terms. “Clearly, in some sectors of the country the public security situation is completely overrun,” said Galvan, adding that “it should be recognized that national security is seriously threatened.”

He went on to say that organized crime in the country has managed to penetrate not only society, but also the country’s state institutions." read more

What exactly are the “mistakes” of the Army?

Mexico Institute: "Last Thursday,.. general Guillermo Galván, secretary of National Defense, admitted that the Army has committed "mistakes" in the fight against organized crime.... However, he did not give any details on those "mistakes."

They are, concretely: 33 civilians murdered, 225 tortured civilians, 20 victims of rape (17 women and three men), and three forced disappearances between December of 2006 and December of 2011. This information is contained in 82 archives from the National Commission on Human Rights."  read more

Mexican Bishop says: militarization of the nation is intended to intimidate

La Jornada: "The terror implanted in the population, as well as the intimidation of human rights defenders, form part of the strategies applied to civil society thanks to the nation's militarization, said the bishop of Saltillo, Raúl Vera López.  read more

Mexico will respond to the UN on violation of the rights of indigenous

Milenio: "The Mexican government will have to respond Tuesday, to the UN regarding the systematic violation of the rights of indigenous people, despite their legal status. It will also have to respond as to why it does not respect the rights of migrant workers who cross its territory. ... 

"The UN Program for Development (UNDP) said, in its 2010 report ... that, despite government measures, indigenous Mexicans suffer greater inequalities than any other group, and that their access to health, education, social security, housing and other services is very limited." read more

UN recognizes scope of “judicial revolution” in Mexico

Milenio: “The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) meeting today in Geneva, recognized the impact of the “judicial revolution” which has been carried out in Mexico and which promotes human rights and the fight against discrimination.

“The qualitative leap that has been made by the Mexican state in the past decade is a very important fact which marks a substantive advance in the fight against racism and all types of discrimination,” said the CERD rapporteur for Mexico, Pastor Murillo." read more

US Trains Mexico Officials to Carry Out Oral Trials

InSight Crime: "The US Justice Department will train thousands of Mexican public servants to carry out oral trials, as Mexico rushes to implement a series of sweeping judicial reforms in time for a 2016 deadline. Up to 8,000 agents from Mexico's Ministry of Public Security, the Federal Police and the Attorney General's Office will be trained to hold oral, public trials.

The initiative will be funded under the terms of the US's primary security program for Mexico, the Merida Initiative.  read more

Cross posted from the Americas MexicoBlog

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