Civil Society Groups Condemn Human Rights Violations in Mexico Ahead of Peña Nieto's Argentina Visit

In recent years, records indicate there have been at least 150,000 deaths and more than 28,000 disappearances in Mexico

Mexico President Peña Nieto visits Argentina amid accusations of human rights violations carried out while

he has been in office. Source: Wikimedia

Argentine human rights organizations sent a letter to President Macri ahead of Enrique Peña Nieto's official visit.

Mr. Mauricio Macri
President of the Argentine Republic

Mr. President,

In the context of the upcoming visit to Argentina by the president of the United Mexican States, Enrique Peña Nieto, the organizations listed below express our concern regarding the structural human rights crisis that Mexico is undergoing today. Any decision by the Argentine government regarding its relations with Mexico demands a firm stance on the grave rights violations that are taking place in that country.

The disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, got the world’s attention. Several reports by international mechanisms for the protection of human rights have shown that the Ayotzinapa case reveals the pattern of violations and absolute impunity that characterizes Mexico today – a fact the Mexican government refuses to acknowledge. Graves with hundreds of human remains have been discovered in that geographical area, and in many other parts of the country. In recent years, records indicate there have been at least 150,000 deaths, more than 28,000 disappearances*, innumerable arbitrary detentions and the forced displacement of many populations, among other serious rights infringements.

The recent reports by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI in Spanish) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) demonstrated the falseness of the official version regarding what happened to the 43 students. They also contributed very relevant information about the relationship between grave human rights violations and the actions of various security forces at the service of criminal organizations associated with drug trafficking.

In Mexico, the victims and their families deserve truth and justice. At the same time, to prevent more violations, a profound revision is needed of the militarization of the state’s response in the failed “war on drugs.”

Argentina must take into account the results of the GIEI’s work, reports by the Inter-American Commission and by several Special Procedures of the United Nations that have visited that country recently, and demand that the Mexican state urgently comply with its international human rights obligations. It is imperative that the Mexican government undertake needed structural reforms, which include establishing a General Law on Enforced Disappearance that reflects the voices of victims’ families to confront the problem of disappearances, and that it accept a follow-up mechanism to the GIEI’s recommendations regarding the Ayotzinapa case, exactly as the IACHR has proposed.

The process of memory, truth and justice for the crimes against humanity committed during the last dictatorship has earned our country broad recognition by the international community. Argentina has led the drafting of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, as well as the United Nations Human Rights Council’s creation of a Special Rapporteurship on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence. Argentina’s recent history should permeate its foreign policy and, as a result, its bilateral relations with a state that is marked today by the mass disappearance of people in a context of widespread impunity.

* According to the National Registry of Data on Missing or Disappeared Persons (RNPED in Spanish), as of January 2016 there were 28,161 disappeared people in Mexico.

Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo
Madres de Plaza de Mayo- Línea Fundadora
Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)
Familiares de Detenidos y Desaparecidos por Razones Políticas
Fundación Memoria Histórica y Social Argentina
Liga Argentina por los Derechos del Hombre
Asamblea Permanente por los Derechos Humanos (APDH)