UN expert sees very little change in efforts to protect right to life, end impunity in Mexico

20 June 2016

A United Nations human rights expert today said that in Mexico, very little has changed regarding the protection of the right to life his 2013 fact-finding mission to the country.

“Extrajudicial killings and excessive use of force by security officers persist,” said Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in his follow-up report to the UN Human Rights Council.

Protective measures remain insufficient and ineffective; impunity and the lack of accountability for violations of the right to life remain a serious challenge, as does the absence of reparations for the victims, he stressed.

While welcoming the steps taken by the Mexican Government, Mr. Heyns emphasised that “additional measures are still required and should be carried out in practice to fully implement my recommendations in order to better ensure the protection of the right to life.”

Particularly, the expert urged the Mexican authorities to approve a general law on the use of force, and to create a national autonomous forensic services institution.

With regards to law enforcement, he recommended that all necessary steps be taken immediately to ensure that public security is upheld by civilian rather than military security forces.

The Special Rapporteur regretted the lack of progress in the implementation of his recommendation on this issue, and pointed to a series of tragic events that continue to place the armed forces at the centre of accusations of extrajudicial executions.

Mr. Heyns encouraged the Government to fully implement his recommendations and offered his technical assistance and cooperation.

 

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