Open Letter to Mexican Authorities regarding recent positions towards UN HRC mechanisms

Press release
en es

Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto
President of the United Mexican States

Paris, Mexico, April 7, 2015

FIDH is concerned by what appears are significant setback in Mexico’s human rights foreign policy, as illustrated in statements of representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on the reports of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan Méndez, and of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances.

In interventions delivered before Mexican Senators and at the UN Human Rights Council, Ambassador Juan Manuel Gómez Robledo, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called the behavior of the Special Rapporteur on torture “unprofessional and unethical” after he reported that torture was “generalized” in Mexico, following a visit to the country. Ambassador Gómez Robledo further warned that Mexico would no longer work with the Special Rapporteur.

This negative change in Mexico’s foreign policy sharply contrasts with Mexico’s contribution to the international human rights agenda, particularly at the UN. The country plays an influential role at the Human Rights Council and has a strong tradition of cooperation with the United Nations human rights mechanisms, being one of the first countries to having extended, in 2001, a standing invitation to all Special Procedures mandate holders, whose work is guided by the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity, and non-selectivity, constructive international dialogue and cooperation (HRC resolution 5/2). The recent comments by Ambassador Gómez Robledo, backup publicly by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, clearly run against these long-standing commitments.

In light of the severe difficulties Mexico is currently facing domestically, it is crucial that the country adopt a principled position in its human rights foreign policy. Only by acknowledging the dimension of the human rights challenges it faces -as documented by the UN mechanisms-will Mexico be able to address them and enable the full respect, protection and realization of human rights in the country.

We urge your country to cooperate fully and in good faith with all United Nations human rights mechanisms, and to take all necessary measures to promptly implement all the recommendations and concluding observations of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the Committee on Enforced Disappearances respectively as well as those of the different HR UN mechanisms that have visited the country in the recent past. The government should also allow the Special Rapporteurs to carry out a follow-up visits to the country to verify the implementation of such recommendations.

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