AI warns that Mexico is going “towards the abyss” due to impunity in femicides and militarization

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Amnesty International (AI) warned that Mexico is going “towards the abyss” in terms of human rights, due to the impunity that surrounds the perpetrators of femicides and the militarization of public life, among other reasons.

This was stated by the organization in the report ‘Mexico: Headlong towards the abyss in human rights?’, which was prepared for the United Nations (UN) to carry out the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) from Mexico.

This is a mechanism of the Human Rights Council that all UN member countries must go through every five years and which evaluates the health of fundamental freedoms.

Thus, AI highlights that 20,292 women have been murdered between 2018, the date of the last UPR, and last May, although it focuses on the fact that only 5,065 cases were investigated as alleged femicides.

“Despite the fact that 25 Gender Violence Against Women Alerts have been activated in 22 states of the country, impunity persists in femicide investigations,” it warns.

Additionally, the report expresses concern about “deficiencies in investigations such as loss of evidence, lack of adequate investigations, lack of application of a gender perspective, and threats to victims’ families.”

Another issue in which the organization raises alarm bells is respect for social protest, since “the highest authorities,” such as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, “stigmatize” the struggle of journalists and human rights defenders who “ “They question the actions of the Government.”

They also call the criminal justice system a “deterrent mechanism for those who protest,” especially in areas such as the environment or land, and remember that Mexico is “one of the most dangerous countries in the world” for those who practice journalism.

In fact, 2020 and 2022 were among the “deadliest” years for the trade, with 19 and 13 professionals killed, respectively, according to AI.

Likewise, the report criticizes the “heavily militarized public security strategy” promoted by the López Obrador Government and the role of the National Guard (GN), “one of the ten institutions with the most complaints for human rights violations”: 1,200 demands between 2019, when it was created, and 2022.

López Obrador himself had designed the GN as a civilian body, but its control depends on David Córdova Campos, a retired military man, and in 2022 it became dependent on the Secretariat of National Defense, although the Supreme Court of Justice annulled this transfer.

“The participation of the forces in public life has increased the probability that a person will be a victim of sexual torture during their detention (…) and has fostered a lack of truth, transparency and accountability,” says the NGO.

  Strengthen, recognize and do not stigmatize

Given this analysis, AI proposes that Mexico strengthen the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) so that it “complies” with the Paris Principles, which govern this type of institutions, as well as that it recognizes the “magnitude” of the crisis of femicides.

In this way, it urges the authorities to “convey the message that these acts will no longer be tolerated or go unpunished” and to guarantee “comprehensive reparation” to the families of the victims.

As far as political dissidence is concerned, it suggests the creation of an “enabling legal framework” that guarantees the right to protest.”

Finally, it urges the Mexican Government to develop a plan to “withdraw the armed forces from public security and administrative tasks” before 2028.

The report was presented by the executive director of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, Lucía Chávez; the executive director of Amnesty International Mexico, Edith Olivares, and the Analysis and Advocacy specialist of Amnesty International, Angélica de Anda.

 Source: Lopez Doriga