The Mexican Senate appoints 13 persons to the National Citizen Council of the National Search System

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The Senate of the Republic appointed 13 persons to the National Citizen Council, composed of 5 relatives of disappeared persons, 4 human rights specialists and 4 representatives of human rights organizations, who will participate for a period of three years.

  • Francisco Olvera Acevedo, Grace Mahogany Fernández Morán, Mirna Nereida Medina Quiñonez, Margarita Michelle Quevedo Orozco, and Edna Dolores Rosas Huerta were appointed as representatives of the family members.
  • Denise González Núñez and Santiago Corcuera Cabezut were appointed as specialists in the protection and defence of human rights. Volga Pilar de Pina Ravest, as a specialist in the search for disappeared or non-localized persons and Mercedes Celina Doretti, as a specialist in forensic matters.
  • Humberto Francisco Guerrero Rosales, Juan Martín Pérez García, Consuelo Gloria Morales Elizondo and Norma Patricia Quintero Serrano were selected as representatives of human rights organizations.

The National Citizen Council is a consultative body of the National Search System, created after the recent enactment of the General Law on Disappearance of Persons. Its objective is to advise both the System and the National Search Commission on the implementation of actions, policy-making and projects, in order to expand its capacities with the contribution of specialists in the matter.

The legal battle against the Internal Security Law

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 Façade of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice 
 Picture: www.scjn.gob.mx

After the approval of the Internal Security Law, the legal battle began with the aim of repeal it, considering that it violates the human rights of Mexican citizens.

The Mexican Supreme Court of Justice accepted 8 Constitutional Controversies against the Internal Security Law filed by the municipalities of Nezahualcóyotl, Ocuilan and Cocotitlán, State of Mexico; of Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua; of the Yucatecan municipalities of Oxkutczab, Tepakan and Hoctun, and San Pedro Cholula, Ahuacatlán and Tepeyahualco in the state of Puebla. The reason given by the municipalities was that the rule invades their sphere of competence in the area of public security.

In addition, the Court accepted four Actions of Unconstitutionality filed by: 1) the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), 2) Minority Deputies, 3) Minority Senators and 4) National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI). The arguments presented were that the law contravenes the human rights set forth in the Constitution, including the privacy of individuals, since the military may have access to their personal information under the argument of internal security.

Both the actions of inconstitutionality and the controversies were accumulated due to the existence of identity with respect to the shared decree, that is, all the resources will be combined in the same project.

Once the actions of unconstitutionality and controversy are admitted by the Supreme Court, it is decided whether to inform the two chambers or, because of the importance of the issue to the plenary. A rapporteur minister is assigned, who will notify the responsible authorities (in this case, the Congress of the Union and the President of the Republic) so that, within a certain period of time, they can answer the action, allege and offer proof.

Following this, the rapporteur minister draws up a draft resolution circulating among the other ministers, which is then discussed collectively. The draft resolution will declare the Constitutionality of the law or not, in case it is declared unconstitutional, the law will lose its validity. This procedure will take between 2 months and 3 months due to the importance of the matter.

More info in spanish:

El Universal

HuffingtonPost

#SeguridadSinGuerra: the movement against the new Mexican Internal Security Law

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The #SeguridadSinGuerra (#SecurityWithoutWar) collective, formed by social organizations, citizens and activists, has been one of the strongest voices against the Internal Security Law.

According to the movement, “normalizing the intervention of the Mexican Army in police work would contribute to perpetuate the situation of violence that we seek to reverse”. They argue that it is the state level governments who have the obligation to form effective police corporations that guarantee our security and avoid resorting to the service of the Armed Forces.

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They also pointed out that biggest threats of this new law are:

  1. Gives the Armed Forces powers of policing, such as allowing them “preventive” actions at their discretion.
  2. It does not generate controls to verify respect for human rights, it only mentions that “they will be respected”.
  3. It allows the Federal Forces – including the military – to intervene against social protests if they believe they are not peaceful.
  4. Poor regulation of the use of force; it refers to deficient and unsupervised protocols.
  5. It attacks transparency by determining that all information on internal security measures will be confidential.
  6. It does not impose a time limit on internal security problems
  7. It does not oblige state and municipal authorities to strengthen their civilian police officers in time and according to specific goals
  8. Promotes military intervention in civilian intelligence areas.
  9. It does not establish robust checks and balances; it only talks about the Secretary of the Interior sending a report to the Bicameral Commission of the Congress of the Union.
  10. The use of vague definitions allow everything to fit into the figure of “internal security”.

More info about #SeguridadsinGuerra

 

 

What is the new Mexican Internal Security Law?

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The Internal Security Law, which was approved during the month of December by the Legislative branch, is a legislation that defines and details the activities of the Armed Forces in public security tasks and defines in which situations the military may act.

In short, it authorizes what has been done for 11 years: the use of the Armed Forces for public security purposes. This law authorizes the legitimate use of force by the Armed Forces and the rational and proportional use of techniques, tactics, methods, armaments and protocols of their elements to control, repel or neutralize acts of resistance, according to their characteristics and methods of execution.

The Federal Forces and the Armed Forces are now also empowered to develop intelligence activities in the field of Internal Security within their respective areas of competence. When carrying out intelligence tasks, the authorities empowered by this Act may use any lawful method of gathering information.

The international community has expressed its concern. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, for example, reported that the law contains precepts contrary to human rights standards, as it normalize the permanence of the Armed Forces in public security tasks.

More info:

Mexican senate votes to keep troops in police role despite outcry from Human rights groups

Mexico passes Law of Internal Security

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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Idle No More in Solidarity with Ayotzinapa

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On September 26, 2014, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Teachers’ College, in Iguala, went missing after they were attacked by state police and gunmen. Three students were killed and forty three “disappeared.” The bodies of the disappeared students have never been found and the Mexican government has not undertaken a credible investigation into the disappearance. The families keep struggling to find out what happened to the students.

This atrocity is part of a landscape of violence and impunity carried out through alliances between elements of the Mexican state and organized crime. The search for the students has uncovered more than 15 mass graves in neighbouring areas of the state of Guerrero, none of them containing the bodies of the students. In response, a national movement of resistance has emerged.

Idle No More organizers stand in solidarity with the missing 43 students and their families and the Caravan to Ottawa delegation travelling to share their story of resistance and hope. Their struggle and search for their loved one’s resonates with us as we seek justice for the murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls and two-spirits in Canada. The murder of Indigenous people’s across the Americas is at epidemic proportions and it’s time for governments to take action to protect Indigenous lives.

Canada plays a critical role in supporting the Mexican state’s responsibility for the disappearances. In 2012, two way trade between Mexico and Canada totalled $20 billion. As a signatory to NAFTA, Mexico is Canada’s 5th largest export destination. Despite the human rights crisis in Mexico, Canada’s refugee system has deemed it a ‘safe country.’

Grand Chief Philip Stewart, President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs calls out Canada’s involvement: “I call onThomas Mulcair, the leader of the official opposition to raise this issue in the house. I call on the Conservative government to make a statement about the situation in Mexico and cut off relations with Mexico until human rights are respected.”

Join Idle No More at the Public Forum With Leaders of Mexican Social Uprising – Ayotzinapa to Toronto as we join the delegation and lift our voices together and speak out against state violence.

April 29, 7pm: Public Forum With Leaders of Mexican Social Uprising – Ayotzinapa to Toronto at Ryerson University – 350 Victoria Street (@ Gould), Library Lecture Theatre, Room 72

– For further information about the caravan to Ottawa visit this page

For media requests contact:
– Raul Burbano, Common Frontiers, (416) 522-8615, burbano@rogers.com

Witnesses from Mexico will testify today to Parliament’s International Human Rights Subcommittee about the missing students of Ayotzinapa, and call for overdue Canadian action

studentsMEDIA ADVISORY

(Ottawa, April 28, 2015) The mother of one of 46 students from a teacher-training college in the Mexican community of Ayotzinapa who were killed or forcibly disappeared during a September 2014 attack by Mexican police and gunmen will testify before Parliament’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights this afternoon, along with a surviving student and a lawyer for the families of the victims.

Their goal is to make visible a disturbing pattern of grave abuses perpetrated by state security forces, and call for attention to serious failures on the part of government authorities to protect human rights in Mexico, a country that Canada has designated a so-called “safe country”.

The members of the Mexican delegation who will testify to Canadian MPs are:

  • Hilda Legideño Vargas, whose son Jorge Antonio was forcibly disappeared in the September 2014 attack;
  • Jorge Luis Clemente Balbuena, a student leader at the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college;
  • Isidoro Vicario Aguilar, a Me’phaa indigenous lawyer with the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre, an award-winning NGO that represents families affected by the September 2014 attack and a prior attack in December 2011, in which two other Ayotzinapa students were killed.

The three witnesses will testify to members of the MP Sub-committee on International Human Rights from 1 to 2 PM on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.

Their appearance before the Subcommittee follows a tour through BC, Ontario, and Quebec to raise awareness about the attack on the Ayotzinapa students and an ongoing climate of danger for those who speak up about human rights violations in Mexico.  The tour is supported by more than 50 organizations in Canada.

On March 24, 2015, people in Argentina remembered the military coup d’etat and the Ayotzinapa students