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

 

 

Briefing note on events related to disappearances in Mexico from February 5 to March 5, 2015

March 9, 2015. DuringNormalAyotzinapa-compartimos-el-dolor-a the month of February, Mexico’s General Prosecutor’s Office (PGR) attempted to close the case of the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa by arguing that, based on the testimonies from witnesses and evidence gathered in a landfill site in Cocula Guerrero, the students were incinerated by the criminal group Guerreros Unidos. The Argentine Forensic Team questioned this as they were not present during the collection of evidence in Cocula. The Forensic Team was also concerned about the possible manipulation of evidence in order to fit the PGR’s conclusions. Academics from Mexico’s National University also question the PGR’s argument and indicated that the physical evidence provided by the former contradicts the incineration argument. According to these experts, the burning of bone tissues requires special equipment, which was not available in the landfill site. Continue reading