December 18, 2017

Washington, DC / New York / Stuttgart / Geneva


The approval of the Internal Security Law that passed this week in the Mexican Senate represents a grave step backward for a nation that has yet to deal with unprecedented levels of violence and a general situation of human rights violations. In response, a coalition of ten international organizations, committed to human rights and the rule of law, calls on President Enrique Peña Nieto to exercise his veto power against the law, while announcing the foundation of an International Observatory about Mexico, tasked with a mandate to observe and document the deterioration of the human rights situation in the country.

Far from addressing the general impunity of atrocious crimes—including those committed by the armed forces in the context of the long “war on drugs”--the Internal Security Law consecrates and strengthens the roles of the army and navy in areas of public safety formerly reserved for civil authorities. During the last ten years, this strategy of militarization has terrorized the civilian population through extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, torture, and sexual violences, among other violations of human rights--activities have been fully documented and are still carried out in absolute impunity. Meanwhile, indexes of violence continue to escalate and, in fact, 2017 appears to be the most lethal year in the history of Mexico.

The Internal Security Law constitutes a legal framework of broad scope that allows the possibility of military action in all areas of the country and against all civilians. In this sense, the new law is part of a dangerous tendency that requires urgent response. The creation of the International Observatory—a permanent coalition of international organizations in Europe, the United States, and Latin America—will help to monitor the situation in Mexico, calling the attention of other nations to the regression of democracy that is in progress, and supporting our colleagues in Mexican civil society in the face of growing attacks and threats against defenders of human rights and journalists. The Observatory also will continue dialogue with the Mexican authorities to remind them of their obligations to international law.

The founding members of the Observatory include Amnesty International, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), the Latin American Working Group (LAWG), the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), Peace Brigades International (PBI), and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights; other international organizations are expected to join this effort. While Mexico moves away from democratic values, the world is watching.



Erika Guevara Rosas, Amnesty International:

Marcia Aguiluz, CEJIL:

Katya Salazar, DPLF:

Carola Hausotter, German Network for Human Rights in Mexico:

Daniella Burgi-Palomino, LAWG:

Ina Zoon, OSJI:

Pat Davis, Peace Brigades International:

Angelita Baeyens, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights:

Maureen Meyer, WOLA:

Helena Solà Martín, OMCT: