Amnesty International Demands Enrique Peña Nieto Guarantee Human Rights In Mexico

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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Don’t Celebrate Mexico’s Reforms Just Yet

Enrique PeñaNieto 2The Wall Street Journal, 3/16/14

Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) President Enrique Peña Nieto has been in office a mere 16 months, but his leadership has already changed the country’s international image. Constitutional reforms in energy, education and telecommunications, once thought to be impossible, have removed roadblocks to new legislation that could increase competitiveness and drive faster growth.

In many ways Mexico appears ready to leave behind its corporatist past in which business was under the control of a one-party state. Indeed, pundits have declared that success is a fait accompli. But old habits die hard. The southern partner of the North American Free Trade Agreement still has two gargantuan—and not unrelated—problems that threaten its progress. On a visit to Mexico in February I got an earful about both.

The first is Mr. Peña Nieto’s economic populism. He talks of markets and growth, but he’s also expanding the federal welfare state with new entitlements in health care and pensions. Even rich countries are having trouble keeping such promises nowadays. But Mexico also wants to skip the part about building wealth and just go straight to redistributing it. Deficit spending is heading higher than it has been for most of the past decade. Mr. Peña Nieto’s other big challenge is inherited: A weak rule of law.

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Context Interview on Citizen Security: Is the Peña Nieto Administration Succeeding?

wwclogo.MexicoMexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto made several bold promises while on the campaign trail in 2012 on how he would improve citizen security, including the unofficial claim that his administration would cut violence by 50% during his first year in office. With the administration’s first year complete, we asked two expert observers to provide analysis and context on what has transpired and to provide insight on the outlook moving forward.

To learn more,  watch Mexico Institute’s interview with Alejandro Hope, Director of Security Policy for the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), and John Bailey,  Professor with the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University here.

If you missed our event “The State of Citizen Security in Mexico: The Peña Nieto Administration’s First Year in Review” you can watch the webcast here.