The University of Milan awards an honorary degree to Vera Jarach, Estela de Carlotto and Yolanda Morán, the Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina and Mexico.

The Academic Senate of the State University of Milan unanimously approved the granting of the honorary title of Master’s Degree in International Relations to three women who, according to the Senate’s resolution “represent in a particularly significant way the movements born in Argentina and later in Mexico for the rights of the victims of enforced disappearances and who are testimony to an untiring commitment in the defense of human rights and in the search for truth and justice”.

The representatives of the historic Plaza de Mayo, Vera Vigevani Jarach and Estela Barnes de Carlotto, respectively Mother of the Plaza de Mayo-Linea Founder and President of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, and Yolanda Morán Isais, who in recent years took charge of the same mission in Mexico, coordinating FUNDEM – Fuerzas Unidas por Nuestros Desaparecidos en México, will receive the recognition.

The honorary degrees, proposed by the Department of International, Legal and Historical-Political Studies of the State University, will be awarded during the opening ceremony of the academic year, which will take place in February.

Press Release (italian)

UT Human Rights Clinic to Brief Congress on Enforced Disappearances in Mexico

2017-hrc-coahuilareport-en-hero-1-960x540On Thursday October 5, 2017 at 10:00 Ariel Dulitzky spoke before the Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives at a briefing on enforced disappearances in Mexico. Ariel Dulitzky is the Director of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law. He highlighted key findings from a Human Rights Clinic report on the relationship between organized crime and the state in Coahuila, Mexico and the human rights violations, including disappearances, that have been committed there. The report analyzes the most important information arising out of witness testimonies from three U.S. federal trials against members of the Zeta cartel. The report maps out the hierarchical structure of the Zetas, documents the links between the Zetas and Coahuila state authorities, and identifies human rights abuses perpetrated by the cartel. Press this link to access the report.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) analyze the situation in Coahuila, Mexico.

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During the 165th Regular Session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, representatives of the Diocesan Center for Human Rights Fray Juan de Larios, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights and the International Federation for Human Rights presented the report “Mexico: Murders, disappearances and torture in Coahuila de Zaragoza constitute crimes against humanity”, highlighting the fact that between 2009 and 2016, crimes against humanity were committed against humanity. As stated in the report, these crimes qualify as crimes against humanity and therefore fall within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

At the hearing, representatives of the organizations addressed the collusion of Coahuila’s senior officials and security authorities with the Zetas cartel in the commission of crimes against humanity between 2009 and 2011. As well as the direct responsibility of state security authorities, through the Special Weapons and Tactics Group (GATE in spanish), in the commission of crimes against humanity between 2012 and 2016.

They also highlighted two particularly violent cases: the Allende massacre and the case of the Piedras Negras prison.

Despite the Mexican State’s representative delegation’s commitment to the investigation and punishment of murders, torture and enforced disappearances, they expressly rejected any kind of international cooperation to reverse impunity in the country (as they have refused to accept the establishment of the Advisory Council, recommended by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with an international membership of experts in the field).

The IACHR review of the case will continue as they expect more information by the petitioners and the state representatives.

Watch the full hearing here (spanish/english)

General Law on Disappearance of Persons approved by the Legislative Branch in Mexico

 

Families salute the passage of the General Law on Disappearance of Persons, a tool to confront the grave crisis of disappearances and impunity in Mexico

On 12 October, the Chamber of Deputies approved the General Law on Forced Disappearance of Persons and Disappearances by Individuals. The families that make up the Movement for Our Disappeared Persons in Mexico (fb: MovNDmx) salute the approval of this law, because it is the result of almost three years of hard work by more than 60 families and civil society organizations (NGOs) that have proposed fundamental contents of this law and because if it is implemented effectively, it will be an important tool to confront the serious disappearance crisis in Mexico.

The Act creates a National Search System, a National Search Commission and 32 Local Search Commissions for missing persons, structures that incorporate the participation of relatives and civil society organizations, in order to find the whereabouts of our loved ones. In turn, the Act recognizes and punishes the crimes of enforced disappearance and disappearance committed by private individuals; promotes exhaustive investigations – through the creation of Specialized Prosecutor’s Offices; and establishes better conditions to approach truth, justice, punishment of the guilty parties, and to break the chronic patterns of impunity that involve this atrocious practice.

The Act also strengthens the National Register of Missing and Unrecognized Persons, which will contribute to sizing the disappearance crisis in the country and responding to the true magnitude of this painful problem.

The rights of the victims recognized in it will also open up new possibilities to provide comprehensive reparations and care for the thousands of missing persons and families who are going through this stormy road. This will only be possible if the authorities – of all levels of government – comply with their obligations and implement the Law correctly.

In the long and desperate search for our loved ones, faced with institutional inaction and collusion, we recognize in the Law a perfectible instrument, but also necessary and urgent as a first step to prevent, eradicate, combat and sanction disappearances.

However, the Legislative Branch’s obligation does not end with the approval of this Law. The Chamber of Deputies has the inescapable duty to allocate a sufficient budget for its immediate and correct implementation during this same session. This is a basic condition for the Act to operate effectively in favour of the thousands of missing persons in the country and their families, and to prevent the realization of criminal conduct.

In addition, we families demand that the Executive Branch publish the Law immediately, this is a historic opportunity to respond to tens of thousands of families that we can no longer expect, committing this administration to lay the foundations for its full compliance.

The road is just beginning, approval is one more step and implementation will be a challenge. For this reason, we demand to recognize our experience and ensure our participation at all times: without families there can be no effective and legitimate implementation of the Law.

#SinLasFamiliasNo

Kindly

Movimiento por Nuestros Desaparecidos en México (Movement for Our Missing Persons in Mexico)

Bulletin in Spanish

Ayotzinapa: Interactive Cartographic Platform

The Ayotzinapa Case: A Cartography of Violence

Forensic Architecture was commissioned by and worked in collaboration with the Equipo Argentino de Antropologia Forense (EAAF) and Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (Centro Prodh) to conceive of an interactive cartographic platform to map out and examine the different narratives of this event. The project aims to reconstruct, for the first time, the entirety of the known events that took place that night in and around Iguala, and provide a forensic tool for researchers to further the investigation. To explore the platform, follow this link.

 

CADHAC, PJGNL AND ENFOQUEDH SIGN COLLABORATION AGREEMENT

171004-Firma-ColaboraciónCADHAC (Ciudadanos en Apoyo a los Derechos Humanos A.C.: Citizens in Support of Human Rights A. C.)

October 4, 2017
Bulletin 1710/42

Today, the Nuevo Leon State Attorney General’s Office signed a collaboration agreement with CADHAC and EnfoqueDH – a project funded by the U. S. Agency for International Development – with the objective of strengthening capacities to investigate and locate missing persons in Nuevo Leon.

The document was signed by Attorney Bernardo Gonzalez; by the director of EnfoqueDH Políticas Públicas en Derechos Humanos, Laura Zambrano and Consuelo Morales, Director of CADHAC. Consul General Timothy Zúñiga-Brown and USAID-Mexico Director Elizabeth Warfield accompanied the event as witnesses of honor.

The signing of the cooperation agreement comes at a crucial time for the enforcement of human rights in the state of Nuevo León, particularly since civil society is actively participating in the strengthening of its institutions, accompanying, promoting and evaluating state action in the face of its responsibilities.

For CADHAC, the signing of the collaboration agreement will allow, along with AMORES (Agrupación de Mujeres Organizadas por los Ejecutados, Secuestrados y Desaparecidos de Nuevo Léon: Association of Women Organized by the Executed, Kidnapped and Disappeared of New Leon),  to make futher progress towards the search for truth and justice, while ensuring that new practices are incorporated into the institution of justice so as to allow for progress in non-repetition measures.

Bulletin in Spanish

Mexican Senate approves National Law Against Disappearances

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After two years and two months, the Mexican Upper Chamber of Congress approved the National Law Against Forced Disappearance and Disappearance by Non-State Actors. This has taken place four decades after the disappearances of the 1970s and the widespread practice by state and non-state actors since 2006. The families of the disappeared have stated that this law does not do enough to search for the disappeared and give families access to justice. However, they are willing to support the law in order to introduce further changes to it once it is approved. In what follows, there is a translation of the families’ assessment of the law passed by the Senate.

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