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    November 23, 2020

    By Duncan Tucker, Amnesty International's Americas Media Coordinator

    Monday 9 November was a sad day for Mexican journalism.

    That morning, the reporter Israel Vázquez Rangel was investigating a crime scene in Salamanca, a small industrial city in the central state of Guanajuato, when armed men arrived and shot him at least five times. He died in hospital hours later.

    Then, that evening, police in the tourist city of Cancún opened fire to disperse a demonstration against the high level of femicides that plague the nation. Two journalists suffered gunshot wounds and the police beat two others during the repression of the protest. 

    November 10, 2020

    By Amnesty Americas Media Manager Tuncan Tucker

    Jessica Silva and her husband Jaime Torres were driving through Delicias, a town in the northern state of Chihuahua, late on 8 September when members of Mexico’s National Guard attacked them.

    That afternoon they had joined thousands of agricultural workers in a tense protest at La Boquilla, a nearby dam, to defend their right to water. The National Guard fired tear gas at the demonstrators, who were armed with bats, poles and rocks. Undeterred, the protesters managed to seize control of the dam, forcing the soldiers to retreat. 

    As Silva and Torres made their way home that night, members of the National Guard opened fire on their vehicle. A witness told Amnesty International he saw two National Guard trucks pass by and heard five or six gunshots. Torres, a walnut and alfalfa farmer, was seriously wounded, while Silva, a 35-year-old homemaker and agricultural worker with three teenage children, died instantly.

    November 02, 2020

    The end of October is a time of traumatic memories for the Indigenous Rarámuri community of Coloradas de la Virgen in the Tarahumara mountains of northern Mexico. It was on October 24, 2018 that community leader and forest defender Julián Carrillo was shot dead. The assassination came just a week after Julian spoke out against the environmental impacts of a mining concession awarded by authorities to a Canadian mining company without the free, prior and informed consent of the Indigenous people whose lands would be impacted.

    The killing of Julián Carrillo is no isolated case. A shocking number of defenders of land, Indigenous territory and the environment have been killed in Mexico. Many others have received death threats and must decide whether to abandon their efforts to protect rights and the environment, or live in constant fear of being gunned down.

    This crisis is largely invisible, despite the election of President López Obrador, who promised to bring human rights change to Mexico. Violence and injustice continue, especially when communities speak out against resource extraction projects they say will damage their land and the environment.

    June 12, 2020

    On 30 March, Public Security officials in Mexico replaced two police escorts protecting Clemencia Adelaida Salas Salazar with one officer who had limited functions. They cited pandemic restrictions as the reason but that made Adelaida considerably more vulnerable to further attacks for the work she was doing to defend women’s sexual and reproductive rights.

    Amnesty launched UA 58/20 on April 20. Urgent Action writers responded by sending messages to the Governor of Yucatán state and received replies from three different authorities. The threats and attacks stopped and in May, the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders restored full safety measures for Adelaida. There’s power in those pens and keyboards! 

    To learn how you can join the Urgent Action Network, check out our website here. 

    May 06, 2020

    This Mother's Day, amidst stay-at-home restrictions in both Canada and Mexico, we are in solidarity with the mothers of the disappeared in Mexico as they continue to seek answers to an agonizing question: where are their missing loved ones?

    Disappearances in Mexico continue to increase to record numbers. According to the latest figures, more than 61,600 people have been reported missing. Behind that staggering statistic are human beings robbed of all that matters, and family after family tortured by not knowing what happened, where their loved ones were taken and if they are still alive, in need of rescue.

    It is thanks to the tireless, caring efforts of families of the disappeared in Mexico - who came together to support each other, formed networks, and then a national movement - that there have been some signs of hope. Legislation, a National Search System and specialized investigators, amongst other advances – none would have been possible without the dedication and bravery of the families, especially the mothers. 

    October 31, 2019

    From October 22th to 26th, Amnesty Canada's Alex Neve joined a global Amnesty delegation to monitor the impact of anti-asylum policies at the US-Mexico border. They met with the consul general of Mexico in San Diego, the National Commission of Human Rights in Tijuana, visited shelters in Tijuana and San Diego, met with NGOs and UN agencies on both sides of the border, and met with legal aid providers and toured a shelter for unaccompanied children in Brownsville, TX. On their last day, the group crossed the border into Matamoros, Mexico to speak with families and others who have been affected by the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy.

    Matamoros, Mexico

    “Some days we cry.  Some days we laugh.  And we are here to lift each other up when we are down.”

    September 27, 2019

    Twelve countries across Latin America and the Caribbean have signed the Escazú Agreement in a major victory for the environment and human rights that should inspire the rest of the region to follow suit, said Amnesty International.

    Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Peru, St. Lucia, and Uruguay all signed the treaty at the first opportunity today as the UN General Assembly started in New York, while the Dominican Republic and Haiti have also committed to signing in the coming hours.

    “The leadership of the dozen countries who signed the Escazú Agreement today should serve as inspiration for the rest of the region and beyond,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International. “We urge all other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to promptly follow their example for the survival and wellbeing of current and future generations.” 

    September 19, 2019

    In reaction to the public statement by Under Secretary for Human Rights Alejandro Encinas announcing Mexico's intention to promptly accept the competence of the Committee against Enforced Disappearances to receive and consider cases of disappeared persons in Mexico, Erika Guevara Rosas, Amnesty International's Americas Director, stated:

    "The Mexican government's announcement is an important sign of its willingness to achieve justice, truth, and reparation in cases of enforced disappearance in the country. This issue, which for years has cast a shadow over human rights in Mexico, requires all available efforts and resources to find a solution. Amnesty International looks forward to the prompt implementation of this decision and will continue to monitor the situation of disappeared persons in the country, aware that it will only change with a strong commitment from all authorities."

    September 04, 2019

    September 26 is an important date for defenders of human rights in Mexico and their allies around the world. It marks five years since police attacked buses carrying students from a rural teacher training college in Ayotzinapa. The police took 43 of the students away, never to be seen again. 

    Finding out what happened and bringing to justice everyone who played a role is obviously of tremendous importance to the families and classmates of the 43. 

    May 04, 2019


    PLEASE NOTE: This action is open until the first week of June.

    Throughout the month of May, we are collecting cards to echo the calls for action by mothers of the disappeared in Mexico.

    May 10 is Mother's Day in Mexico. Thousands of mothers marked the date by taking part in a huge Mother's Day March for Dignity (promoted in their poster, left), carrying the photos of sons and daughters who disappeared, never to be seen again. The mothers of the disappeared organize the march to make visible the massive dimensions of this heart-rending crisis and to call for action.

    Our solidarity is vital!

    More than 40,000 people are now reported missing in Mexico. It's a staggering number that only continues to grow. Some people were abducted by criminal gangs. In other cases, public officials were involved.

    January 31, 2019
    Mexico USA border wall with barbed wire at top

    Amnesty International Canada Secretary General Alex Neve is currently part of a delegation of senior Amnesty leadership who are visiting the Mexico/USA border to witness the impacts of US policy on migrants and asylum seekers.|

    El Paso, Texas

    So many times over the past two years, since Donald Trump’s presidency and assault on the rights of refugees and migrants began, I have asked myself: what more will it take for the Canadian government to agree that the United States is not “safe” when it comes to refugee protection?

    And while I do not have the answer yet, as the accounts of utter contempt for international obligations and the lack of even a minimal sense of compassion mounted during our visit to Tijuana, El Paso and Ciudad Juárez this week, as a Canadian I felt a deepening sense of shame that this remains an open question.

    What more will it take?

    January 30, 2019

    Photo: Mother and son holding hands at the shelter for the Migrant Caravan in November 2018. 

    Amnesty International Canada Secretary General Alex Neve is currently part of a delegation of senior Amnesty leadership who are visiting the Mexico/USA border to witness the impacts of US policy on migrants and asylum seekers. 

    The polarizing and politicized discourse about refugees, migrant and border policy in the United States revolves around ugly chants and a long list of terms and agencies that are at once sinister and incomprehensible: #BuildTheWall, Migration Protection Protocols, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), Customs and Border Patrol, pushbacks and zero-tolerance.

    But what is truly at stake and so lost in the swirling toxic debate are peoples’ hopes, lives and rights.

    January 28, 2019

    Amnesty International Canada Secretary General Alex Neve is currently part of a delegation of senior Amnesty leadership who are visiting the Mexico/USA border to witness the impacts of US policy on migrants and asylum seekers. 

    Tijuana, Mexico

    We began the day walking across the border between the United States and Mexico, separating San Ysidro, California and Tijuana. We ended the day back at that exact same border post, accompanying three courageous LGBTQ teens from Honduras as they sought, against considerable odds, to lodge their asylum claims with US officials.

    In between we had ample occasion to see and hear firsthand that despite Donald Trump’s toxic rhetoric, the only crisis that is playing out along this frontier is a politically-driven one that spreads distortions and fear on the backs of people – mainly, but not only, from Mexico and Central America – who are fleeing terrifying persecution, endemic violence and grinding poverty.

    It is a crisis of conscience, compassion and justice.

    December 04, 2018

    By Maha Asad, Amnesty Canada's National Youth Action and Advisory Council

    Signing petitions and writing letters to protect human rights matters! Achieving our desired goals may take time but raising our voices helps create pressure. I saw that first hand during a visit to the Embassy of Mexico in Ottawa on November 20th.

    We met with Ambassador Arturo Hernández Basave (below 3R) and Legal Affairs Secretary Alfonso Vera Sanchez (left) and handed over more than 35,000 messages of support, solidarity and calls for action on behalf of the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, as well as other victims of grave human rights abuses in Mexico.

    May 11, 2018
    Amnesty International Canada's Alex Neve speaks at March for Dignity in Mexico City

    It was a day of powerful solidarity and deeply appreciated action across borders, in support of families in Mexico facing what can only be described as a nightmare.

    May 10 is Mother’s Day in Mexico. A day for family celebration. But not for the ever-growing number of families whose sons or daughters have been taken away and made to disappear, while authorities have turned a blind eye. For these families, May 10 has become a day to take to the streets, make visible their pain, and call for action.

    This year, they asked us to speak out with them. And speak out we did!

    It began first thing in the morning in Ottawa, as a delegation led by Executive Director Jayne Stoyles, knocked on the doors of the Mexican Embassy and delivered 36 white flowers to Mexico’s Ambassador in Canada, honouring the more than 35,000 people reported disappeared in Mexico.