On Friday, 15 December 2017, the Mexican Senate the National Security Law, despite the concern expressed by international entities such as the United Nations, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Mexican and international organizations, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) and others about it’s potential impact on human rights. A group of UN experts highlighted that “increasing the role of the Armed Forces, and the lack of control and monitoring mechanisms could allow for the repetition of human rights violations like those that have taken place since the Armed Forces were tasked with the fight against organized crime.” Similarly, according to Mexican civil society, the National Security Law contravenes international treaties signed by Mexico and does not comply with specific recommendations by the IACHR and the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico, with regard to the gradual withdrawal of the Armed Forces from public security duties.
As a result of PBI's international accompaniment experience, we have observed that the implementation of a security strategy based on militarization have lead to a significant increase in risk and attacks against human rights defenders and civil society organizations. PBI is concerned about the current situation and sees that it could potentially grow worse. We support the expressions of concern by diverse actors with respect to this legislation. We are especially concerned about the potential effects the law could have on the right to defend human rights, the fight against impunity, and guarantees of access to justice. It is important to highlight that PBI is part of a coalition of international organizations that aims to keep international attention focused on the possibility of a deterioration of the human rights situation and the closure of spaces for human rights defenders in Mexico.