“Mexico’s victims’ movement will continue to exert critical pressure for transforming the system into one that respects victims’ rights, addresses the social and economic roots of crime, promotes the rule of law, and ensures justice.” – Lauren Villagran, “The Victims’ Movement in Mexico”
The memorial to Mexico’s victims of violence looks like it has been dropped from the sky by an angry God. Welcoming it is not, with its rusted slabs the size of movie screens standing next to a busy intersection.
Nor is its mission clear. Even before it was inaugurated in April, the monument had set off debate over whether it should be a tribute to all the drug war’s killed, missing, kidnapped and extorted — or just those subjected to human rights abuses by the Mexican authorities. But then, you walk a little closer and the slabs begin to speak.
The Mexico Institute is pleased to share with you the following new resources on civic engagement and public security in Mexico.
The Victims’ Movement in Mexico-By Lauren Villagran
After a lengthy effort to combat organized crime in Mexico, the mental and emotional damage caused by violence has inflicted a heavy toll on the population. Increasingly, people who have been victims themselves have emerged as the most powerful advocates for their rights as victims, especially justice before the law. While many groups help deal with the pain of loss, the need exists for a more dedicated effort to help institutionalize judicial reforms. This paper seeks to examine the composition of victims groups, their organizational structure and internal divisions, and helps shed light on a number of facets of this social movement.
Click here to read the paper.
Civic Engagement and the Judicial Reform: The role of civil society in reforming criminal justice in Mexico-By Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira
Although civil society in Mexico has long been weak there have recently been encouraging signs of engagement and activism in response to the rule of law and security concerns. This report focuses on the role played by civil society in the judicial reform process, highlighting the efforts of organizations that have been influential and emblematic of civic activism in this area.
Click here to read the paper.
This law is more than a year in the making, the product of a joint effort by academics, victims’ advocates, as well as victims themselves aligned with the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity. Its publication this week in the official government gazette marks a major win for the movement led by the poet Javier Sicilia, whose son Juan Francisco was killed in violence in March 2011.
Victims of crime in Mexico and the “indirect” victims who suffer for them face daunting obstacles. In a country where fewer than four percent of crimes are resolved, victims face the “double” victimization of a justice system that doesn’t do its job. México Evalúa, a Mexico City-based research center, estimates the state has the capacity to investigate 4,350 homicide cases annually in a country where there are more than 20,000 homicides per year.