NGOs condemn impunity for serious violations of human rights in Mexico

Press release
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Washington D.C., 30 October 2014.
The Mexican Commission for the Defence and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Committee against Torture (CAT), the Committee Against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), the Citizens’ Commission for Human Rights in the Northeast (CCDH), the Centre for the Full Development of Women (CEDIMAC), and the Centre for Justice and International Law (Cejil) supported the hearing on “Impunity for serious violations of human rights in Mexico” versus the State of Mexico, as part of the 153rd Session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).

The organisations submitted figures which showed almost total impunity and the failure of the Mexican State to deliver justice. In Mexico 98% of reported cases go unpunished, which means that serious crimes are neither investigated nor prosecuted. For instance, of the 22400 forced disappearances that occurred from 2006 to 2012, there has not been a single sentence handed down; and in the period 1977 to 2005 there were only 6 Federal convictions related to disappearances.

The hearing focussed primarily on the situation in the States of Guerrero, Chihuahua, Chiapas and Baja California. CEDIMAC reported that, in the state of Chihuahua, institutions and civil servants in charge of investigating cases involving the killing of women and girls and responsible for searching for disappeared girls and women, generally fail or are slow to act or, at best, are inefficient in that they delay and thus lose the opportunity to gather and develop crucial evidence.

In the case of the State of Baja California, it was shown how torture had been perpetrated in such a widespread and systematic fashion as to qualify as crimes against humanity in the meaning of the Rome Statute. For this reason the FIDH, the CMDPDH and the CCDHNOR, have requested that the International Criminal Court investigate the alleged crimes of torture in the State from 2006 to 2012.

Similarly, Cejil concluded by expressing its concern about the lack of access to justice and reparation for victims and the State of Mexico’s failure to comply with her international human rights obligations, including the recommendations of the CIDH and the Decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

In concluding, the attending organisations called upon the State of Mexico, inter alia, to authorize the CIDH to conduct an in situ inspection in the country, to set up an accountability mechanism for the actions taken to resolve cases brought to its notice regarding serious violations of human rights, and to submit concrete evidence of progress towards the eradication of impunity in Mexico.

The State of Mexico, for her part, presented purely formal responses and gave no substantive response to the demands of the organisations.

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