<media 7460>Entrevista 25</media>

In 2010, Amnesty International declared that 'Mexico is a dangerous country in which to defend human rights'. In a study conducted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico, 165 acts of aggression or limitations to the work of human rights defenders (HRDs) were registered, including 15 individuals who were killed between 1 January 2006 and October 2010. In the light of this situation, Mexican civil society organisations have focused on the need to design a governmental mechanism for the protection of at-risk HRDs and journalists. In 2010, dialogue was opened between the government and civil society representatives to discuss the establishment of such a mechanism.

In early February 2011, PBI interviewed Agnieszka Raczynska, executive secretary of the National Human Rights Network “All Rights for All” (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos “Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos”), also known as 'the Network'. It is comprised of 70 pluralist, non-partisan, non-governmental groups from 23 Mexican states, all working in human rights education, defence and promotion. For almost three years, the Network – together with other organisations – has encouraged the process of establishing protection mechanisms. The Network currently forms part of a group of civil society organisations which seek dialogue with the government, aiming to influence the mechanism's design.

PBI: ¿How do you evaluate the risks faced by Mexican human rights defenders (HRDs)?

Agnieszka Raczynska: According to the analysis conducted by the Network, we see that there has been a regression in terms of the security and protection of our colleagues. We are witnessing an increase in social conflict in Mexico, an increasingly violent context compared to what we have experienced before, and an increase in risk... <media 7460>Download the complete interview</media>