Rights Commission: Mexico’s Indigenous Migrant Workers Risk Enslavement on Farms

12/4/2017 VOA

Mexico must step up efforts to protect vulnerable indigenous migrant workers who are at risk of becoming trapped in forced labor and enslaved in farms, the government’s human rights commission said.

Poverty and a lack of jobs force entire families from rural tribal communities, many coming from the country’s poorest southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, where they risk falling into the hands of traffickers, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) said.

“They end up getting trapped and subject to forced labor on farms where they find themselves under the power of people, who knowing they won’t get punished, keep them under promises of payment in vile and unhealthy conditions,” the CNDH said in a statement released at the weekend.

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Human rights official, son killed in northern Mexico

11/21/2017 Washington Post

mexican flagMEXICO CITY — Gunmen in Mexico have killed a human rights official and his son in the northern state of Baja California Sur in a dramatic attack that was condemned by federal officials Tuesday.

In a news conference, state officials said Silvestre de la Toba Camacho and his family were driving in an SUV in a busy part of the state capital of La Paz around 7 p.m. Monday when gunmen in another vehicle opened fire.

De la Toba Camacho, 47, and his son Fernando de la Toba Lucero, 20, died at the scene. De la Toba Camacho’s wife and 17-year-old daughter were wounded and taken to a nearby hospital.

Mexico’s Interior Ministry condemned the attack Tuesday and called on state officials to find those responsible.

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Not Dead. Not Alive. Just Gone

11/20/2017 The New York Times 

16754796678_92d73b186f_oXALAPA, Mexico — At 5 a.m., the couple stirred to the buzz of a cellphone alarm. They had hardly slept — Carlos Saldaña had been in the hospital the night before, betrayed by his fragile stomach.

He had prayed that the pain would subside, that God would give him strength. Today was the raid, the culmination of years of tracking the cartels, of lonely reconnaissance missions to find where they had discarded his daughter.

For so long, he had begged officials to do something, anything. Now, he wondered if he could even walk.

“Why tonight, God?” he had murmured in the hospital, doubled over. “I’ve been waiting so many years for this.”

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Mexico: Mental Health Bill Undermines Disability Rights

10/16/2017 Human Rights Watch

Mexico’s Congressional Mental Health and Drug Commission is considering a national mental health bill that would seriously jeopardize the rights of people with disabilities, Human Rights Watch said today.

In a letter sent on October 16, 2017, to the Commission on Health and Drugs in the Chamber of Deputies, Human Rights Watch urged the commission to reject the bill in its current form. The commission should revise the bill to reflect a human rights-oriented framework, based on consultations with organizations representing people with disabilities and disability rights experts. The final bill should ensure the right to mental health for all in Mexico on an equal basis, and without resort to forced treatment.

“The bill before the commission unfortunately reflects a discredited approach to mental health, focusing on forced medical treatment instead of  on the consent, autonomy and rights of those in need of mental health services,” said Carlos Ríos Espinosa, senior researcher and advocate for disability rights at Human Rights Watch. “The bill is inconsistent with Mexico’s human rights obligations, in particular the right to consent to or refuse treatment, which is an integral aspect of the right to health.”

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Mexico’s largest state rocked by slayings of women

10/12/2017 ABC News

59145805_6b10fab368_bJust like any other day, Dr. Jessica Sevilla Pedraza went to work at the hospital that morning, came home for a quick lunch and then left again. The plan was to see more patients, hit the gym and be back in time for her usual dinner with dad before he went to his night-shift job.

Instead a hospital co-worker showed up at the family’s door in the evening. She said a man had come in with a bullet wound in his leg and told doctors he had been with Sevilla when gunmen intercepted them, shot him and took off with the doctor in her own car.

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Mexican women march to highlight anti-female violence

pink crosses09/18/2017  BBC News 

Thousands of Mexicans took to the streets in different cities after the killing of a student.

The death of Mara Fernanda Castilla in the city of Puebla prompted marches across Mexico on Sunday.

Mara Fernanda had gone missing earlier this month after hailing a ride with an app-based taxi service. Her body was found on Friday.


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09/07/2017 The Intercept 

Oaxaca por Ayotzinapa

(The Intercept) – THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT’S story goes like this: On the night of September 26, 2014, roughly 100 students from Ayotzinapa, a rural teaching college, clashed with municipal police in the city of Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero. Rocks were thrown, shots were fired, and 43 students were snatched up by the authorities and handed over to a local drug gang. The students were then driven to a garbage dump where they were murdered, burned to ash, and tossed into a river, never to be seen again. This, Mexico’s attorney general once said, was “the historical truth.”

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