PBI MEXICO'S BULLETIN UNDERLINES HOW SECURITY STRATEGY HAS CONSEQUENCES FOR THE DEFENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE COUNTRY
Mexico City, - 21 January 2015. Peace Brigades International launched its new thematic bulletin “Peace in Mexico?" Security Strategies and Human Rights, which discusses the issue of public security from the perspective of human rights defenders, highlighting the impact that the current violent context and the public security strategies have on the defence of human rights. During the launch, civil society organisations shared their concerns regarding the human rights situation in Mexico with representatives from the German, Dutch, Canadian, French, Swiss and Norwegian embassies and the Delegation of the European Union.
In this publication, PBI Mexico suggests that contrary to official discourse, PBI has not observed “Peace in Mexico” during the first two years of Enrique Peña Nieto's government, but instead has noted the continuing problems related to public security policies and their effects on human rights in Mexico. An example of this are the recent events in Tlatlaya, State of Mexico, where members of the army allegedly executed 22 people, and Iguala, Guerrero, where civil servants are currently being investigated for their alleged role in the homicide of 6 people and the disappearance of 43 students. “Peace in Mexico? Security Strategies and Human Rights” contains interviews conducted by PBI with human rights defenders who question various aspects of current security strategies, such as the “role that the army plays in public security tasks, without a clear end date”.
During the launch of this publication, which was supported by Canada Fund, Niamh Ni Bhriain, Advocacy Coordinator with PBI Mexico noted “the fundamental role that the diplomatic corps and international community play with regard to the protection of human rights defenders, particularly within the current context of impunity, violence, and human rights violations which Mexico continues to face”. Also during the event Mexican civil society organisations discussed their concerns regarding security and human rights with representatives from the diplomatic corps and ways to resolve such concerns.
Sara Mendez, director of Codigo-DH, from Oaxaca, observed that “Mexico is undergoing significant changes, a shift fiercely hastened by the implementation of the recent reforms. This, added to a reinforcement of the general strategy to counter organized crime, led to a recurrent disregard of personal guarantees and a lack of respect for human rights such as the right to consultation which subsequently jeopardizes the security of those who raise their voices against big investments like the several cases of megaprojects in Oaxaca.” In turn, Alberto Xicotencatl Carrasco, the director of Saltillo Migrant House, exposed that, due to the closure of the Southern Border, “migrants shelters from the North are documenting that migrants are using new routes which are more dangerous and where the large presence of organized crime renders them more vulnerable to all sorts of crimes. This higher peril is carried along with the migrants to the shelters from the North, thus also increasing the risk of their defenders.”
In the conclusions of the Bulletin published today, PBI expresses its concern regarding the current context of insecurity and recommends that foreign governments and their diplomatic representatives in Mexico, consult with human rights defenders and take into account the inputs of such defenders, with regard to their cooperation programmes with Mexico, particularly those such as the Merida Initiative or others that focus on security and justice issues. Furthermore, PBI urges the Mexican Government to recognise the important and legitimate work carried out by human rights defenders, and guarantee their physical and psychological integrity, including the effective and prompt implementation of the Protection Mechanism, as well as other national and international protection measures.
Peace Brigades International (PBI) is a non-governmental organisation with more than 30 years of experience in international accompaniment and has maintained a permanent presence in Mexico since 1999. PBI strives to provide protection to persons and organisations that promote human rights in a non-violent manner and who suffer acts of repression as a result of their work.
More information with:
Ricardo Cancela Neves
Communications and Advocacy Coordinator
Peace Brigades International - Mexico Project
Facebook: PBIMexico Twitter: @PBI_Mexico
Tel/Fax: 01(55)55142855 www.pbi-mexico.org