On June 23rd, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held the first hearing on human rights violations in Mexico in over ten years. Witnesses spoke of the country’s failed security policies; its expanded militarization; the blurred lines between the government, its armed forces, and criminals; and the absence of a truly independent prosecutor’s office. Witnesses expressed concern about the possibility that the National Guard would be placed formally under the control of the military. Lastly, witnesses criticized the insufficiency of the Protection Mechanism and the abuses migrants are subjected to by Mexico’s Armed Forces.

Stephanie Brewer, of the Washington Office on Latin America, stated “We urge Congress to exercise its oversight capabilities to assess the effectiveness of U.S assistance to Mexico, ensuring that the stark lessons of the Merida Initiative lead to evidence-based improvements within the new Bicentennial Framework that will truly increase the population’s safety and access to justice.” 

Recommendations from the Latin America Working Group and more testimonies are linked here.