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Mexico

    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 23, 2019

    The measures taken by the government of President López Obrador to uncover the truth and ensure justice in the case of the 43 Ayotzinapa students who were forcibly disappeared five years ago must soon translate into positive results, Amnesty International said today. Such measures also need to be replicated in the cases of the thousands of other disappearances in the country.

    “During the first four years of struggle, Amnesty International continually denounced the cover-up by the authorities in the Ayotzinapa case. Today we have seen initial efforts by the new government to resolve the case and we welcome this, although much remains to be done,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    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 05, 2019

    Seven years after the illegal detention and torture of Adrián Vásquez Lagunes at the hands of the Baja California State Police, authorities still have not compensated him or his family, said Amnesty International today.

    “The governor of Baja California has an opportunity to leave a legacy before he ends his term, ensuring that Adrián Vásquez and his family do not have to wait any longer for the justice they are owed,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    Amnesty International documented and publicly denounced the case of Adrián Vásquez Lagunes when it occurred. He was detained by state police as he drove in Tijuana on 26 September 2012. During the 12 hours that he remained in police custody, he was subjected to threats, beatings, and near-asphyxiation – including by forcing water into his nose. Afterwards, police presented him to the media declaring that he was a known drug trafficker. Vásquez Lagunes spent three years in prison unjustly on false charges. He was released from prison in December 2015.

    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. 

    July 31, 2019

    Recent actions by various state governments in Mexico are jeopardizing freedom of expression and assembly in the country and could be a step towards criminalizing the defence of human rights, Amnesty International said today.

    In the state of Tabasco, state deputies approved a reform that criminalizes public demonstrations. It provides for lengthy prison terms for actions opposing any public or private project or works and for obstructing roads or other means of communication.

    “The reform in Tabasco would allow the government and the private sector to impose megaprojects and deprive local people of a voice to oppose them if they are affected. This is a clear violation of the right to freedom of expression. In addition, people wanting to exercise their right to peaceful assembly would be criminalized,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    Amnesty International believes that the restrictions set out in the bill are so broadly framed that people would effectively no longer be able to meet and freely express their views about government-approved projects.

    June 11, 2019
    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 84 HERE

    While negotiations are ongoing between the USA and Mexico around possible tariffs on Mexican goods, hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers are being detained on Mexico´s southern border. 

    On 5 June, Mexican migration and National Guard agents detained approximately 400 people on the highway near Metapa in Chiapas state. They took the detainees to an overcrowded detention centre. Many were deported the following day without proper explanation about their right to seek asylum or ability to explore other migratory options in Mexico. On 6 June, the government announced the deployment of 6,000 National Guard members to Mexico´s southern border. 

    May 22, 2019

    The Mexican Congress is preparing to approve a package of laws on public security that are contrary to international law and that would put at risk the human rights of the population and undermine the security strategy of the new government, Amnesty International said today.

    “If Congress passes this legislation, the National Guard will become an all-powerful security force, without independent scrutiny and with dangerous powers, such as the authority to detain migrants and to use force against public demonstrations it does not deem to be legitimate,” said Tania Reneaum, executive director of Amnesty International Mexico.

    On Tuesday, 21 May, the Mexican Senate approved four laws on security as part of a legislative arrangement to create a new National Guard supported by the federal government. Although the new laws contain some positive measures on human rights protection, they also include a series of challenges and serious flaws that could lead to an increase in abuses in a country that has been plagued for more than a decade by security crises and human rights violations.

    May 17, 2019

    The first known death of a child detained by Mexican migration authorities under the current presidential administration is a sickening tragedy that demands answers from a government that promised to be more humane to migrants and refugees, said Amnesty International today.

    “At a time when children are dying in United States migration custody on the other side of the border, President López Obrador’s government is overseeing a crackdown on migrants and refugees that is resulting in the careless treatment of human lives. This suggests an alarming parallel with the current approach of the Trump government,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

    On 16 May, Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) announced that a 10-year-old Guatemalan girl died in hospital, where she was transferred after arriving at Mexico City’s migration detention centre in the company of her mother two days earlier, complaining of a sore throat. INM had brought her back from the northern border state of Chihuahua via bus, a trip of nearly 20 hours.

    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.

    March 12, 2019

    President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government took some steps to improve the human rights situation in Mexico during the first 100 days of his administration but has yet to take the kind of emphatic action that would convince the country of his commitment to change, said Amnesty International today.

    “Mexico has a long and disturbing history of human rights violations. In recent years, the country has descended into a serious crisis. After decades of struggle by human rights organizations and victims’ groups, it would be a tragedy to miss this opportunity to change the country’s direction,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “President López Obrador must acknowledge and prioritize the major human rights challenges facing the country. Now is the time to take concrete action to achieve genuine change. Recognition of the work done by human rights defenders and organizations, as well as support for them, must be a priority for the president.”

    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.

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