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Mexico

    October 18, 2018

    The Mexican government must listen to the individual stories of those fleeing Honduras and inform them of their right to seek asylum, said Amnesty International today in response to news that the Mexican government deployed its federal police chief to its southern border to await the arrival of a caravan of over 1,600 people from Honduras, including dozens of families and children. 

    “Mexican authorities should not take a Trump approach treating people like a security threat. These families deserve dignity and respect to ensure that no one is illegally returned to situations where they could risk serious harm due to violence,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International. 

    September 24, 2018

    After four years of trying to hide the truth about the enforced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has one final chance to take appropriate action and stop obstructing the creation of a special investigative commission, Amnesty International said today.

    “The world is watching Mexico, waiting for the government to finally guarantee the victims’ rights by permitting the creation of an investigative commission that can uncover the truth of what happened and achieve justice for the 43 students of Ayotzinapa and their families,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    On 26 September 2014, 43 students of the Ayotzinapa teaching school were forcibly disappeared in Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero. Despite intense international and domestic pressure, including from the families of the disappeared students, their whereabouts are still unknown, as are the events that led to these grave human rights violations.

    September 21, 2018

    In response to the ruling of the First Collegiate Court of the Nineteenth District in Tamaulipas in which it was confirmed that there are no legal impediments to the creation of a special investigative commission in the case of the enforced disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “This ruling confirms that the main obstacle to the proper investigation of the Ayotzinapa case has been the lack of willingness of the Mexican authorities to uncover the truth of what happened. Amnesty International calls on the Mexican authorities not to prevent or discourage the creation of the special investigative commission”.

    “The special investigative commission represents hope for the students’ families because it could be, subject to certain conditions, a mechanism that helps achieve truth, justice, and reparation in this case”, Guevara-Rosas concluded.

    August 29, 2018

    In reaction to the video released today by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in relation to the enforced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in the southern state of Guerrero in 2014, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “It is negligent and apathetic for the president of Mexico to continue to publicly defend the alleged ‘historical truth’ of an investigation which has now been discredited by several different organizations and independent experts following a rigorous analysis. This is yet another example of the political decision of Peña Nieto’s government to dedicate all available resources to hiding the facts rather than to guaranteeing truth, justice and reparation for the victims and their families”.

    For more information please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bbberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

    Further information:

    Mexico: Government insists on hiding the truth about Ayotzinapa (News, 18 July 2018)

    August 10, 2018

    In a memorandum delivered to President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador yesterday, Amnesty International presented findings and concerns regarding the human rights situation in Mexico, together with a series of specific recommendations, with the aim of contributing to the new government’s plans and actions to resolve the human rights crisis facing the country.

    “Mexico and the world are waiting to see whether this new government will take on the challenge of ending the severe human rights crisis in the country,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The change that Mexico needs requires the president-elect and his team to prioritise the human rights agenda in government decisions and to review the public policies and legislation that today pose a threat to the rights of all individuals.”

    July 31, 2018

    Mexico’s federal authorities continue to overlook key lines of investigation into the disappearances of 36 people in the northern border city of Nuevo Laredo, while failing to protect the victims’ families who have alleged the Navy’s involvement in the disappearances, Amnesty International said today.

    “The Federal Attorney General’s Office is losing crucial time in its investigations into these disappearances, which gives those suspected of criminal responsibility the chance to cover their tracks. The investigators must step up their efforts to find the victims while they’re still alive,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The authorities must urgently activate effective protection measures for witnesses and victims’ family members, who often see little option but to risk their safety, jobs and livelihoods in the desperate search for their loved ones.”

    July 24, 2018

    In response to the findings that the NGO Global Witness published today in its annual report, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International said:

    “Latin America remains the world’s most dangerous region for human rights defenders who work on land and environmental issues. The number of killings rose to unprecedented levels last year, with Brazil recording the worst figures of any country in history. The situation in Mexico has also deteriorated drastically, with criminal gangs taking advantage of the failure of the state to effectively protect rural communities.

    “Amnesty International has also identified Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Peru and Paraguay as countries that are particularly dangerous for environmental human rights defenders. Aside from killings, they also face many other forms of attacks and harassment, including death threats and criminalization through the misuse of the justice system.

    July 19, 2018

    In reaction to the ruling of the Third Unitary Court of the Nineteenth District on the investigative commission in the Ayotzinapa case – the enforced disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, Mexico, since 26 September 2014 – Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “The Mexican government has gone out of its way to impede the creation of a special investigative commission to investigate the Ayotzinapa case, as ordered by a federal court, which ruled that this was the only way to salvage an investigation plagued with irregularities and evidence tampering”.

    “The government has filed more than a hundred different legal motions before the courts in an attempt to prevent compliance with this legal ruling. This is proof of a political decision to hide the truth about the fate of the 43 students. The government must stop opposing the special investigative commission and dedicate its resources and efforts to adequately complying with this ruling.”

    July 05, 2018

    Mexico’s Federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) must not charge the seven human rights defenders who are being investigated for the offence of “obstructing the execution of a public work” in the town of Cuetzalan unless there is strong evidence against them, Amnesty International said today.

    “It is crucial that the PGR ensure that the investigation is not based on unfounded or unreliable evidence as reprisal for their work to defend human rights and that it guarantees their right to a fair trial in accordance with international standards,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “It is essential that the Mexican authorities do not misuse the criminal justice system to harass and silence human rights defenders and use this as a way to obstruct their legitimate work to defend the land, territory and environment.”

    June 21, 2018

    Deployed to fight a war on drugs, Mexico's Marina (Navy) is accused of forced disappearances in Tamaulipas and has blocked searches of their installations. Photo: Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP/Getty Images

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 120/18 HERE

    From February to May 2018 at least 33 people were reported disappeared in Nuevo Laredo, northern Mexico. Authorities have been losing crucial time to investigate, and family members are being left without adequate protection. 

    At least 33 cases of disappearance in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas State (North) Mexico have been reported to the National Human Rights Commission since February 2018. Thirteen bodies have been found to date, mostly by family members. In May, the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights issued a series of alerts regarding these cases. Based on witness testimony and audio-visual material collected during the events, some disappearances indicate the possible involvement of the Mexican Navy. 

    June 05, 2018

    The decision of a federal court to order the creation of an investigative commission for truth and justice in the Ayotzinapa case is an important precedent which could, subject to certain conditions, bring about a substantial change in the way in which serious human rights violations in Mexico are investigated, Amnesty International said today.

    “Following four years of continuous failings in the investigation of the case, this decision represents an important advance in the search for truth, justice and reparation for the 43 students who were forcibly disappeared on the night of 26 September 2014,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    The ruling of the First Collegiate Court of the Nineteenth District in Tamaulipas, made public on 4 June, acknowledges that in Mexico there is no independent public prosecution service, and that the investigation into the enforced disappearance of the 43 students has been deeply flawed and has not taken the pertinent lines of investigation into consideration.

    May 31, 2018

    This is sort of what José Adrián and his mother look like. To be safe, José can’t be filmed or photographed so this photo has been distorted. © Sergio Ortiz_AI. Photograph intervened by Brushstroke App

    DOWNLOAD THE JUNE LIFESAVER HERE

    José Adrián (pronounced ho-zay ah-dree-an) is an indigenous teenager who lives in Mexico’s Yucatán state. His family does not have much money. He likes music, fixing phones and playing with them. Sadly, José has been treated very badly. 

    José spent a long day at school on February 25, 2016. 

    As he walked home around 9 pm, the 14-year-old saw that some boys had been fighting and that someone had called the police. When the police arrived, several people threw stones at the patrol car and damaged it. 

    Suddenly, the police threw José against the car, beat him and pushed him inside. One officer stepped on his head and caused a neck injury. Then they arrested him. They claimed that José had damaged the police car. The police took José to a jail in the nearby town of Chemax. 

    May 22, 2018

    People in Cuetzalan have protested against the installation of power lines before. This photo via slowfood.com is from December 2016.

    Download UA 103/18 Mexico

    103 Mexico.pdf

    Indigenous environmental rights defender Manuel Gaspar Rodríguez was found dead on 14 May in Cuetzalan, Puebla state. He was one of a number of defenders facing criminal investigation for their opposition to the construction of a high-voltage power line. These defenders are at grave risk and have recently been subject to attacks and intimidation. 

    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.

    May 09, 2018

    By Alex Neve, Kathy Price and Geneviève Paul

    A morning of such emotion.  Beauty, love and compassion.  Sadness, sorrow and loss. Indignation, determination, courage and strength.  All held at the same time in our hearts.

    Such is the cruel reality of Mexico’s crisis of disappearance.  And the steely courage of the families whose determined struggle for truth, justice and reforms does not relent.

    What an honour for Amnesty International to join mothers and families of the disappeared in the city of Chihuahua in northern Mexico this morning, to make public and present to them dozens of beautiful hand-crafted solidarity butterflies with heartfelt messages of concern and support from Canadians from coast to coast.

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