The United Nations, Amnesty International, Washington Office on Latin America, Human Rights Watch and other organisations have commented on the proposed reform of the military justice system, sent by President Felipe Calderón to the Mexican Congress on October 18, arguing that the proposal does not go far enough to ensure that all crimes committed against civilians by members of the Mexican armed forces be tried in civilian courts.

Recent rulings by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have ordered that the Mexican Government reform the military justice system, in order to put an end to the impunity which has prevailed in such high profile cases as the forced disappearance of Rosendo Radilla and the rape of indigenous human rights defenders Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú.

Observers have noted that President Calderón's proposal, currently being considered by the Senate, recommends that only the crimes of forced disappearance, torture and rape should be referred to the civilian justice system, rather than all crimes committed by soldiers against the civilian population as recommended by many international bodies and the Inter-American Court in its binding judgment against the Mexican state.

For more information on President Calderón's proposal:

Click here to read the article by Washington Office on Latin America (English)

<media 6976>Click here to download the press release from the Office in Mexico of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations (Spanish, pdf)</media>

Click here to read the article by Human Rights Watch (English)

<media 6963>For more information about the rulings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, read PBI Mexico's recent bulletin on the cases of Tita Radilla, Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, who are all accompanied by PBI due to the risk which their work has implied.</media>