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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UN: Mexico must address dire human rights situation with concrete actions not rhetoric

March 25, 2014

shutterstock_102739391Amnesty International, 3/19/14

Mexico must put into action the promises it makes to the United Nations Human Rights Council tomorrow if it is to address the dire human rights situation in the country, Amnesty International said today.

“Effective long-lasting measures have to be taken to address ongoing patterns of disappearances, torture, arbitrary detentions as well as routine attacks on men and women defending human rights, journalists and migrants. Mexico must not fail again to uphold its commitments to the international community,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

Tomorrow Mexico will announce to Human Rights Council members which of their 176 recommendations it will adopt. In 2009, during its last appearance before this human rights body, Mexico said it would implement the majority of recommendations. However, it then failed to take action in many areas to prevent the human rights crisis, which continues to this day.

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Homeland Security blacked out recommendation on Border Patrol restraint

January 29, 2014

shutterstock_24590917Washington Post, 1/28/14

It’s one of the U.S. Border Patrol’s most controversial practices: shooting at migrants and suspected drug runners who throw rocks and other objects at agents. Many law enforcement experts say the best option is to take cover or move elsewhere, rather than use lethal force. A law enforcement think tank — hired last year by parent agency U.S. Customs and Border Protection to review the Border Patrol’s practices — recommended restraint when agents encounter rock throwers who don’t pose an imminent threat of serious injury or death.

But when the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general released a report in September on the Border Patrol’s use of force, officials blacked out that call for holding back in such incidents, among other recommendations, according to an uncensored copy reviewed by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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