Mexico: REPORT: Arbitrary and illegal detentions - Criminalization: A state policy to hindrance the defense of Human Rights in Mexico
This document constitutes an articulated effort
by different Mexican organizations of the civil society, committees of
relatives of human rights defenders, political prisoners and international
organizations specialized in legal support, documentation of human rights
violations, and protection of human rights defenders.
This document aims to make public the systematic
repression mechanisms used against human rights defenders and against the
social movement in Mexico, in particular the use of arbitrary and illegal detentions
to undermine the advocacy work.
The seriousness of the situation is illustrated through
five cases of human rights defenders ‒Damián Gallardo Martínez, Enrique
Guerrero Aviña, Librado Baños Rodríguez, Pedro Canché Herrera and Nestora
Salgado García‒ who have been arbitrarily detained as a consequence of and
reprisal against their advocacy work. To date, three of the five defenders
remain unfairly deprived of their freedom.
With the publication of these cases, the aim is to make visible the existence
of international mechanisms which make visible and recognize the human rights violations.
These mechanisms are key tools in the pursuit of justice. Specifically, this
document shows the opinions issued by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
of the United Nations calling for the immediate release of the victims and the redress
of the damage.
However, the coordinated effort of organizations
and families seeking the implementation of these decisions has demonstrated the
need to create effective mechanisms to monitor the implementation by the Working
Group on Arbitrary Detention, in close coordination with the Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner in Mexico.
The Working Group
on Arbitrary Detention is one of the special procedures of the United Nations
Human Rights Council. It was created in 1991 by the former Commission on Human
Rights (the current Human Rights Council) and it is made of five independent
experts from the different regions of the world.The mandate of the Working Group includes: 1. investigating
cases on arbitrary detention; 2. requesting and receiving information from
governments, non-governmental organizations, and victims and their families; 3.
reporting annually to the Human Rights Council.
Amongst its main
functions we can also find the field missions and the issuance of urgent actions.
It is worth noting
that the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in the exercise of its mandate,
interprets and applies international rules of international treaties that have
been widely ratified by the Mexican government and incorporated into the national
legal system by constitutional mandate. Under the procedures outlined in this
document, Mexico has had full participation and opportunities to present
arguments and evidence related to the complaints lodged.
“It is the only
mechanism that has not been established by a treaty whose mandate expressly foresees
individual complaints. This means that its activities are based on the right of
individual petition, anywhere in the world.”
The search for justice,
and the eradication of human rights violations and impunity, particularly
against human rights defenders, are an urgent priority in Mexico. To achieve
this goal, strengthening and collaborating actively with international proceedings
and mechanisms such as the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is essential.
The report is available here: Report Arbitrary Detention HRDs Mexico Sept 2016