Within the framework of the 12 years since the tragedy of the Pasta de Conchos mine in the coal region of Coahuila in Mexico, on 18th February 2018 representatives of the Family Organisation Pasta de Conchos presented the report "Red coal in Coahuila: here ends the silence", in Mexico City. This publication, supported by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, tells "the story of the human and environmental cost that the extraction of coal has brought and left" in this northern region of the country; it also documents the struggle that the family members of the 65 miners who lost their lives 12 years ago in the mine have undertaken.
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.
Washington, D.C. / New York City / Stuttgart / Geneva, March 20, 2018 - The International Observatory on Human Rights in Mexico remains deeply concerned about the new Internal Security Law and the Mexican Government’s refusal to accept the Law’s implications. The International Observatory urges the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to utilize all mechanisms at its disposal to prevent the militarization of public security in Mexico. In particular, the Observatory encourages the IACHR to lend its expertise to the Mexican Supreme Court as it reviews the proposed Law, and that it seek an advisory opinion from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on the matter, as well.
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.
On July 26th the Space for Civil Society Organizations for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (Espacio_OSC), which is accompanied by PBI, published their third report. The event was attended by members of Mexican Civil society, international organizations, members of the Diplomatic Corp, the media, the academic community and government authorities.
On 13 July 2017, the first roundtable discussions with regard to the Contingency Plan took place at the Chihuahua State Governor´s Office. The Plan is part of the early warning system for human rights defenders and journalists.
According to an investigation by Citizen Lab, human rights defenders, high profile journalists and anti-corruption activists in Mexico may have been affected by “Pegasus”, a software which infiltrates mobile devices in order to monitor the movements of someone through their cell phone.
On 15 and 16 June the 4th annual Statewide Meeting of Women Activists and Human Rights Defenders took place in Oaxaca. The event was organized by Consorcio Oaxaca, an organization that receives PBI accompaniment and attended by 70 human rights defenders from different regions of the state of Oaxaca and Natalia Barreto – an Advisor for Human Rights Cooperation and Culture of the European Union Delegation in Mexico.
On 9 June, the Governor of the State of Chihuahua, Javier Corral, and the Under Secretary of Human Rights from the Secretary of the Interior, Roberto Campa Cifrian, signed the Contingency Plan which was created from the early warning system for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists in Chihuahua.