From the 9th til 13th April, a delegation of lawyers from Spain visited the North of Mexico and Mexico City in order to hear first-hand accounts and to draw attention to the situation that lawyers who defend human rights find themselves in, they also wished to understand the state of implementation of the general laws of torture and forced disappearance as well as the strategies that the organisations and defenders use against the Internal Security Law.
According to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), during 2017 the number of refugees rose by 578%, and the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance recognised that there is a total of 14,594 people requesting refuge in Mexico. In response, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is collaborating with various refuges in the South of the country and with the Casa del Migrante de Saltillo in Coahila, to help extend spaces and attend the growing number of refugees.
In his most recent report, published on 23rd March 2018, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders, Michel Forst, explicitly mentions those defending human rights in Chilapa de Alvarez, Guerreo and their particularly high levels of risk due to the hostile context in which they undertake their legitimate work: “Human rights defenders from Chilapa, where collective disappearances appear to have occurred with the acquiescence of the authorities, are particularly vulnerable to attacks in the context of organized crime and corruption”.
En el marco de la implementación de esta sentencia, los peritos de antropología forense de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) realizaron nuevas diligencias en la ciudad de los servicios, dónde se encontraba el 27º Batallón de Infantería. A petición de Tita Radilla, PBI acompañó a AFADEM en el desarrollo de dichas diligencias.
Experts in forensic anthropology from the Federal Prosecutor’s Office (PGR) carried out a new search for evidence in Atoyac, specifically at the former site of the 27th Infantry Battalion. Following Tita Radilla’s request, PBI accompanied AFADEM during this exercise.
The UN Special Rapporteur for indigenous people´s rights, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, undertook an oficial visit to Mexico from 8th til the 17th November with the objective of "examining the implementation of the reccommendations given by (her) predecessor, Special Rapporteur Rodolfo Stavenhagen in 2003, and to evaluate how Mexico has incorporated its international human rights committments in relation to indigenous peoples.
In September, PBI provided international accompaniment to civil society organizations who defend the rights of migrants in in the state of Coahuila and who face risks due to their work. According to the report by the Citizens Council of the National Migration Institute (INM), in July 2017 the migrant population was subject to “violence and the excessive use of force by INM agents and other security forces in control and detention operatives” and crimes committed against migrants are met with impunity.
26 June was the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, which was created to commemorate the implementation of the UN Convention against torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment. It is important to remember that in Mexico, at the federal level, the General Law to Prevent, Investigate and Sanction Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading treatment, was approved in the recent legislative period and came into effect on 26 June.
In April, PBI travelled to Saltillo and Torreon, Coahuila in order to meet with members of the Juan Gerardi Human Rights Center, an organization that has received PBI accompaniment since 2013. On 26 April the organization celebrated 18 years of work promoting a human rights culture through the Jesús Torres Migrant Day Center and the collective of relatives United Forces for our Disappeared in Coahuila – Mexico (FUUNDEC-M).
On 17 March, the Saltillo Migrant House participated in a thematic hearing requested by several human rights organizations entitled “Mexico: Applicants for Asylum and Refugee Status” convened by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington DC. During this hearing, representatives of Mexican civil society and the Federal Government discussed the current human rights situation of people who requested asylum and refugee status in the country.