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Five actions for Mexico

in a letter from Human Rights Watch to Peña Nieto

As Enrique Peña Nieto was elected, Human Rights Watch addressed the new Mexican President with a letter to analyse the situation of human rights in the country, the day after the end of the Calderon era. 


The association recalls that the preceding government did not respond of the torture crimes committed by army and police in order to obtain informations from the detainees, nor of the abductions or summary executions that have taken place on Mexican soil.


"While these crimes were committed during the administration of President Calderón, the responsibility to ensure that they are adequately investigated did not end with his term". Human Rights Watch recalls that abductions, which amount to 250,000 since December 2006, are a continuous crime, that inflicts pain to the families of the victims until their fate is unveiled. 


The attention was placed also on the torture inflicted to the detainees to obtain information, as the Mexican jails are for this reason crowded with individuals jailed for crimes they never committed. Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam, immediately after being appointed by Peña Nieto, uttered clear statements on this point, declaring that there never should be innocent people in jail.


Newly elected President has recently announced that he wants to "turn into practice the human rights rulings provided by the Mexican constitution", and the letter from Human Rights Watch points out five reflections to fullfill the aims of the inaugural speech.


  • What his administration will do with the list of the 250,000 missing during the Calderon period, and 
  • how he will use these info to create an accurate database of the disappeared that rely also on key elements of identification, such as the family's DNA
  • How his administration will develop standard protocols to apply the law and justice in the inquiries concerning these abductions
  • Which is the administration's plan to create a federal file of the unidentified bodies
  • How the administration will proceed to enforce torture prevention

When the administration proposes a reform of the Military Code that respects the binding rules set by the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights and the recent decisions of the Mexican Supreme Court to ensure that all human rights violations committed by soldiers against civilians are prosecuted by the civil legal system.

14 December 2012

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