Mexican Judge Frees 2 Witnesses to Army Killings

December 16, 2014

12/15/2014 The Washington Post

justice - gavelA federal judge dismissed criminal charges on Monday against two women who witnessed the June 30 army killing of suspected drug gang members in southern Mexico.

The judge in Mexico state ordered their immediate release after federal prosecutors failed to bring charges. The women had been held in a prison in western Nayarit state for more than five months for allegedly possessing weapons.

The two survived the mass slaying of the 22 suspected gang members and were jailed in violation of their human rights, after they were tortured and sexually threatened into backing the army’s version of the incident, according to Raul Plascencia, the former president of the National Commission on Human Rights who oversaw the commission’s investigation into the slayings.

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Human Rights Crisis in Mexico Demands Stronger Response from Mexican Government

December 10, 2014

12/9/2014 Washington Office on Latin America

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP - Getty Images

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP – Getty Images

On December 6, students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero announced that the remains of Alexander Mora Venancio had been identified. Alexander, along with 42 other students, disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero on September 26, 2014 at the hands of municipal police who were working on behalf of the local mayor, and who then handed the students over to a criminal group. The identification of Alexander’s remains came after over two months of an investigation into the students’ whereabouts; during this time numerous mass graves were discovered in the area. The whereabouts of the other 42 students remain unknown. This tragic case and the inability of the Mexican government to provide their families and Mexican society with prompt and clear information about the students’ whereabouts have unleashed a wave of massive protests in the country.

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Mexico rights agency probes death of 22 in clash

September 24, 2014

09/23/14 The Washington Post 

gun - crime sceneMexico’s governmental human rights agency said Tuesday it is investigating the deaths of 22 people in a clash with the army that one witness has described as a massacre. The National Human Rights Commission expects to conclude its report on the incident in about six weeks. The agency is examining various aspects including reconstructing how the victims died, commission president Raul Plascencia said. The Mexican army reported on June 30 that 22 presumed criminals had been killed and one soldier wounded in what it described as a shootout after suspects attacked soldiers first. That version was cast under doubt due to the lopsided death toll and physical evidence at the scene suggesting at least some of those killed had been standing against a wall and shot around chest level.

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Mexico agrees to investigate mass killing by army

September 22, 2014

09/21/14  Los Angeles Times

Army detentions MichoacanShortly after the Mexican army killed 22 people in what it described as a fierce gun battle with an armed gang, the governor of the state where the incident occurred praised the military for its actions. The army has courageously and tirelessly protected citizens from ruthless criminals, Gov. Eruviel Avila of the State of Mexico said in a public ceremony, thanking the military for the operation. But in the weeks since the June 30 killings, mounting evidence has raised numerous questions about the army’s version of events.

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Mexican Rights Groups File Suit for ‘Systematic and Widespread’ Abuse by Army and Police

September 15, 2014

09/12/04 The New York Times

justice - gavel and bookSeveral Mexican human rights groups said on Friday that they had filed a complaint with the office of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, asking it to investigate the “systematic and widespread” abuse of thousands of civilians by the army and the police in their fight against organized crime. Their complaint includes charges of torture, capture and disappearances of civilians in the region of Baja California between 2006 and 2012.

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Amnesty International Demands Enrique Peña Nieto Guarantee Human Rights In Mexico

May 14, 2014

prison - open doorLatin Times, 5/13/14

Amnesty International (AI)has called on the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, to address the critical human rights situation in the country through a letter that the agency made ​​public today. The letter, which is copied to the heads of the Interior Ministry, the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador of Mexico in United Kingdom, Diego Gomez Pickering, says that Amnesty International has documented repeatedly that Mexico is rooted in impunity due to the lack of government response to allegations of human rights violations.

According to the letter penned to Peña Nieto “A crucial step is the determination of his government to ensure that law enforcement and other public officials implicated in serious human rights violations, including enforced disappearances and torture are promptly brought to justice and that victims receive compensation. As you know, these results are the exception and not the norm, “the letter signed by versa Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.”

Amnesty International released a worldwide report on torture today and described the critical situation in Mexico where, “the government argues that torture is the exception rather than the norm, but in reality abuse by police and security forces is widespread and goes unpunished.

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The USA and Mexico hold Bilateral Talks on Human Rights

April 14, 2014

barbed wire fenceMexidata, 4/11/14

The United States and Mexico held the 6th round of the Bilateral Dialogue on Human Rights in Mexico City on April 3.  Mexico and the United States agreed to seek new opportunities to work together to protect and promote human rights.  Respect for human rights is a priority for both governments, which value their ability to maintain a frank, results-based and constructive dialogue on these issues.

The meeting covered a wide range of bilateral human rights issues, including developments and strategies in the field of human rights. Topics addressed included the prevention of torture and disappearances, military justice, human rights in the fight against terrorism, and violence against women and persons with disabilities.  In addition, each delegation presented views on freedom of expression and actions to protect journalists and human rights defenders.  They exchanged views on issues regarding the death penalty and consular notification. The human rights of migrants and those pertaining to vulnerable migrant groups were also addressed. The delegations discussed the value of improved cooperation at their shared border to reduce incidences of violence.

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