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Mexico inconsistent on human rights: Amnesty International

[JURIST] Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan [AI profile] said Tuesday that although Mexico has played a large role in advocating for human rights in the international arena, the country has failed to adequately address rights abuses at home. Amnesty International [advocacy website] completed its High Level Mission to Mexico [press release] Tuesday, finding that "flaws in the public security and criminal justice system in Mexico currently allow for arbitrary detention, torture, ill-treatment, denial of due process, unfair trials, political interference in the administration of justice, and widespread impunity." Khan said that the purpose of the mission was to ensure Mexico's commitment to upholding human rights. Following the meetings, Amnesty said that:

Amnesty International's meetings with the Mexican government were open and constructive. President Calderon acknowledged Amnesty International's contribution to the development of human rights in Mexico and expressed his own commitment to upholding human rights. He was open to receiving recommendations from Amnesty International on his reform initiatives. The real test will be how the President reflects and implements human rights in his forthcoming legislative and policy reforms. Amnesty International calls on the President to show clear and visible leadership.
One area in which Amnesty believes Mexico could take such leadership is a universal moratorium on the death penalty, where "Mexico should play a prominent role."

Last week, Amnesty urged the Mexican government to initiate a probe into alleged abuses by government authorities during the 2006 uprising in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. In May, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) [official website] issued a report criticizing the federal government's response [JURIST report] to the Oaxaca uprising, saying that the government's intervention was "unjustifiably delayed for more than a month and half," which allowed protesters to occupy the state capital for five months after state authorities overwhelmed. The CNDH received 1,352 separate human rights complaints and found hundreds to be credible, including complaints that police officers tortured at least 13 protesters while they were being transported to detention facilities. Last October, a UN human rights expert expressed concerns over rights violations in Oaxaca [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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