The Pending reforms of Vicent Fox... FIDH launches its Report "Following-up the situation of human rights in Mexico"

Press release
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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) publishes, jointly with the Comisión Mexicana de Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH) and the Liga Mexicana de Derechos Humanos (LIMMEDH), by the occasion of the 55th session of the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights on July 28, 2003, its new report Seguimiento de la Situación de Derechos Humanos en México.

From December 2 to 12, 2002, an FIDH’s mission visited the Mexican states of Guerrero, Chiapas, Oaxaca and Mexico DF, to evaluate the implementation of recommendations of FIDH’s previous missions held on November / December 2001. The mission focused on the situation of the indigenous peoples, the system of justice and the question of impunity and access to economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs), poverty and social exclusion.

The mission considers that three years after the first democratic elections, the structural reforms required in order to guarantee the human rights of all Mexicans have not yet taken place. In this sense, the mission expresses its main distress in relation to the lack of full conformation of the Mexican legislation to the relevant international standards. As regards structural deficiencies observed in relation to the functioning of the system of justice, the mission particularly highlights the use of military tribunals to trial cases of forced disappearances, which took place during the “guerra sucia”, and the lack of institutional mechanisms to be accessed by victims of human rights violations, which would guarantee their right to the truth, to justice and to integral compensation.

At the same time, the Mexican scenario presents a persistent disregard for economic, social and cultural rights, which has been even more deteriorated by reform programs conducted in accordance with international financial or trade commitments (assumed under regional trade treaties or before financial organizations). These reforms correspond to: the adoption of economic policies, which have been harmful to a great extent of the population; the reiterated land conflicts caused by the disrespect to indigenous peoples’ rights to their ancestral lands, as well as the impunity of their violators; the constant planning and implementation of mega-projects in environmental vulnerable areas, which are also home and a fundamental resource to the indigenous peoples in the region.

The mission also draws attention to the lack of cooperation and dialogue between the national organized civil society and governmental authorities and bodies, as well as a certain tendency among governmental officers to disregard or underestimate civil society organizations’ demands.

Among the recommendations included in the report, the main ones refer to legislative reforms to include international human rights standards, specially in relation to indigenous peoples’ rights and the ratification of the Rome Statute, the effective respect and observation of that legislation as internal and enforceable law, the creation of structures and mechanisms to permit the access of individuals and organizations to all governmental bodies and the provision of remedies in relation to the human rights violations taken to those bodies, as well as closer attention and cooperation with the civil society.

Javier Mujica, one of the experts and FIDH’s representatives who produced the report will meet with civil society organizations and governmental authorities, such as the Secretary for Governance, the Foreign Affairs Secretary, the Senate and the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) to present the reports’ conclusions and verify its observance.

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