During the month of April, during the first period of ordinary sessions of Congress, legislative advances were made with regard to the General Law to Prevent, Investigate and Sanction Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading treatment and the General Law on Forced Disappearance and Disappearance Committed by Individuals.
A bill on Disappearances was also approved by the Senate and passed to the Chamber of Deputies for debate.
This debate did not take place during the ordinary legislative sessions and it is now waiting for the next session to be discussed and passed by the Chamber of Deputies.
Several collectives of relatives made statements about the law; the Movement for our disappeared in Mexico recognized some advances but stated that they had reservations, especially with regard to the capacities of the recently created National Search Commission.
The National Campaign against Forced Disappearance in Mexico declared that it did not agree with the passage of the bill because they believe that as it stands does not fully comply with international human rights standards, nor with demands of civil society.
International actors including the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico (OHCHR ) recognized that the law “contains some advances for dealing with one of the most painful, urgent and complex problems faced by the Mexican State”.
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) expressed its concern about the changes proposed by the government and stated that this represents serious setbacks for the search for disappeared people in Mexico.
With regard to the Law on Torture, on 19 April, the Chamber of Deputies approved the General Law and national and international civil society organizations released a joint statement in which they called on the Senate to approve it, and emphasized the need to put this law into effect.
The OHCHR celebrated the passing of the Law, and stated that the adoption of this law complies with one of the recommendations to the Mexican State by several international human rights mechanisms.