EU-Mexico Agreement: PBI and European civil society concerned about human rights implications

On April 28th, the European Commission announced the conclusion of negotiations surrounding the EU-Mexico Global Agreement, following a phone call between commissioner Phil Hogan and the Mexican Economic Minister, Graciela Márquez Colín.1 This commercial agreement, whose negotiations had been on hold since part way through 2018, was finalized in a moment in which civil society’s attention centers on responding to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, with limited capacity for reaction and oppositio

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Ten years accompanying the CSO Group, observing the progress and missteps of the Mexican Protection Mechanism

Advanced a decade ago by Mexican civil society and international bodies, the introduction of the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (Mecanismo de Protección para Personas Defensoras de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas) was a significant step forward for human rights in Mexico. However, the Mechanism continues to demonstrate notable deficiencies and concerning failures in the high-risk context faced by Mexican human rights defenders (HRDs).

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“I always told the men, ‘You shouldn’t fight with your wives – fight the government!’”: Obtilia Eugenio Manue

Obtilia Eugenio Manuel defends the rights of the Tlapanec people in the state of Guerrero and founded the Organisation of the Me'phaa Indigenous People (Organización del Pueblo Indígena Me’phaa, OPIM). In November 2019 she received Mexico’s National Human Rights Prize in recognition of her “significant trajectory in effectively promoting and defending” basic human rights. PBI accompanied Manuel between 2005 and 2011.

How and when did you start defending human rights?

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A future in the balance

For more than a decade, totonaca indigenous communities in the Sierra Norte de Puebla have fought for the survival of their traditions and the defense of their territory. In January of this year, they won an important legal battle against the building of a hydroelectric dam with the local municipality revoking the permits for Puebla 1 to be built, due to illegal activities in the administrative processes.

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