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.