News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mexico: Effective Action Needed by Human Rights Body

Commission Documents Abuses, but Falls Short Promoting Remedies and Reform

(Mexico City, February 13, 2008) – Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission seriously limits its impact by not effectively promoting remedies and reforms needed to end abusive practices, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 128-page report, “Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission: A Critical Assessment,” examines the commission’s work on more than 40 human rights cases, including recent abuses by soldiers involved in law enforcement operations, police crackdowns against demonstrators in Guadalajara and San Salvador de Atenco, and the killings of women in Ciudad Juárez over the past decade, among others. The report also examines the commission’s role in addressing abusive laws, including restrictions on freedom of expression, and responding to important reforms, such as the Mexico City abortion law passed in 2007.

“The commission could have a much greater impact on human rights in Mexico, but it doesn’t,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “While it does a decent job documenting abuses and identifying problems, it doesn’t take crucial steps needed to bring about change.”

The mandate of the National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDH) is broadly defined to include both “protecting” and “promoting” human rights, and its legal powers provide ample tools to pursue this broad mission. Given the poor rights record of the country’s law enforcement agencies and the ineffectiveness of its justice system, the CNDH is often the only meaningful recourse available to victims seeking redress for abuses. It is also, potentially, the most important catalyst for the reforms needed to prevent future human rights violations.

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