Mexico: The President-elect must defer quickly the crimes committed to the Prosecutor of the ICC

Paris, Mexico City, November 29, 2018 - The signatory organisations welcome the statements made by President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador regarding the referral of crimes against humanity committed in Mexico before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Over the past four years, with numerous Mexican civil society organisations, we have documented crimes of torture, murder and enforced disappearance in Baja California, Coahuila and Chihuahua. We presented our findings to the ICC Prosecutor including the systematic and/or widespread nature of these crimes and demonstrated that they constitute crimes against humanity.

Since December 2006, Mexico has been undergoing a dramatic escalation of violence, with at least 250,000 intentional homicides, 36,000 cases of enforced disappearances and over 18,000 cases of torture. More than 1,600 clandestine mass graves have been found throughout the country and the crisis is intensifying. Indeed, 2017 has been the worst year in terms of homicides with over 25,000 murders. In 2007 the rate of people murdered was 9 per 100,000 inhabitants, In 2017 this rate is at 22 per 100,000.

It is for this reason that the signatory organisations urge the new government, which will take office on 2 December, to refer as promised the situation of Mexico to the ICC Prosecutor’s Office as soon as possible, in accordance with article 14 of the Rome Statute of the ICC.

This referral would lead to the analysis by the Prosecutor of the existence of sufficient grounds to investigate crimes against humanity committed in Mexico. In particular, this would help to identify alleged perpetrators and shed the light on the crimes against humanity committed in Mexico since December 2006. It would also determine the willingness and the capacity of the Mexican justice to prosecute these crimes.

The opening of a preliminary examination and subsequent investigation by the ICC would also be an ideal complement to the entities called for by the Mexican civil society : the International Mechanism to Combat Impunity, a Truth Commission and an independent and efficient Prosecutor’s Office.

The new government’s willingness to refer these cases to the ICC seems to demonstrate a clear commitment to fight impunity. FIDH and the signatory organisations call on the elected president and his government to respect their commitment to bring these crimes against humanity before the ICC.

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