Washington D.C., October 30, 2014—Human rights organizations and members of civil society denounced the situation of impunity of human rights violations in Mexico in front of government representatives during the 153rd Ordinary Period of Sessions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
According to the Commission of Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH), the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), the Committee Against Torture and Impunity (CCTI), the Citizens’ Commission of Human Rights of the Northeast (CCDH), and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), 98% of crimes denounced by victims are not tried, resulting in a prevailing climate of impunity. Of the 22,400 forced disappearances registered between 2006 and 2012, not one has been prosecuted. From 1977 to 2005, only six convictions have been filed at the federal level.
The hearing focused on the situation in the states of Guerrero, Chihuahua, Chiapas and Baja California. Many of the facts presented by petitioners highlighted a picture of nearly absolute impunity and inaction on behalf of the Mexican State to impart justice.
CEDIMAC reported that in the state of Chihuahua, the institutions responsible for investigating and searching for missing girls and women, is usually unresponsive, late, and inexperienced, wasting time crucial to carrying out a timely investigation.
In the case of the State of Baja California, petitioners exposed the frequency and systematicity of the use of torture, which according to the Statute of Rome, labels it a crime against humanity. This led the FIDH, CMDPDH and CCDHNOR asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the alleged commission of crimes of this nature in the state between 2006 and 2012.
CEJIL concluded by expressing concern over the lack of access to justice and reparation for victims and the failure of the Mexican State to fulfill its international obligations on human rights, including several recommendations made by the Commission and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.
At the end of the session, attending organizations asked government representatives to authorize a visit by the IACHR and to establish a mechanism of accountability to ensure cases involving serious human rights violations are solved in order to demonstrate clear evidence of progress in the eradication of impunity in Mexico.
Commissioner Felipe González stated: "If the crimes of the past remain unpunished, it is a clear message that the same will happen in the future."
The Mexican government, for its part, presented formalities that did not directly respond to the information presented by participating organizations.