The Military and Human Rights in Mexico

prepared by the Centro de Derechos Humanos "Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez"

These three reports, prepared by Mexican Human Rights Organizations, reflect the impact of Military involvement in the "war" on drugs in Mexico. They describe the pattern of increased human rights abuses by the Mexican Military, the impunity of the military personnel that commits these abuses, and the subsequent threat to freedom of expression and other basic rights.

Violations of the American Convention:
Military Jurisdiction Applied to Cases of Human Rights Violations in Mexico

Document prepared for the Inter-American Human Rights Commission for the Hearing on March 20, 2009.

In Mexico, the extension of military jurisdiction over human rights crimes that have no relation to military discipline is a systematic practice that impedes access to justice and violates guarantees of judicial rights. This practice also violates the Inter-American Human Rights standards, which limit military penal jurisdiction strictly to transgressions of military discipline committed by military personnel so that human rights violations are excluded from the jurisdiction of military tribunals. In 2007 and 2008—the first two years of the six-year term of Felipe Calderón—this situation stands out against a backdrop of a significant increase in human rights violations committed by military personnel: 1,230 complaints were filed against the Mexican National Defense Department (SeDeNa) in 2008, as registered with the Mexican National Human Rights Commission.

Supreme commander?
The absence of accountability of the armed forces at the beginning of Felipe Calderón’s presidency

Prepared by the Center ProDH Team

This report by the Center for Human Rights Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (Center ProDH) documents how military interference in civilian life is an obstacle in the path toward democratization. We are not speaking of intangible obstacles or of rhetorical artifices, but of abuses committed by military personnel during the first twenty months of Felipe Calderón’s administration. This is a report based on public information that has recorded the cry of the victims, of those human lives considered expendable by those in power in order to ensure that “national interests” prevail.

Centro Prodh Human Rights Under Siege

This report examines three inter-related phenomena that pose great obstacles to the respect for human rights in the context of public security efforts in Mexico. These are: the deployment of the military to carry out policing tasks; the recent reform of the Constitution to legalize violations of due process rights of detainees in the criminal justice system; and the pervasive problem of the excessive use of force by Mexican law enforcement officers. In each case, we argue that it is by reversing these tendencies—not by ignoring the human rights of increasing numbers of its citizens—that the Mexican government can protect the lives, physical integrity, and well-being of its population.