UN rights expert urges Mexico to investigate extrajudicial killings

UN rights expert urges Mexico to investigate extrajudicial killings

[JURIST] The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns [official website] urged [press release] Mexico to conduct full and impartial investigations into the killings on June 30 in the village of Cuadrilla Nueva, Tlataya, State of Mexico, during a military operation against alleged criminals. Heyns stressed that “intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly necessary to prevent a detained person escaping or when strictly unavoidable to protect life, that means when there is imminent danger of death or serious injury.” Eight soldiers have been arrested in relation to the event, one survivor has provided testimony and two other survivors are detained.

Mexico has faced criticism for its military involvement in policing, which has led to human rights violations. In May Heyns urged Mexico’s government to increase protections for human rights [JURIST report], particularly reducing the need to use force and reducing the military’s involvement in policing. In March Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies [official website, in Spanish] voted [JURIST report] to remove criminal immunity for federal lawmakers, seeking to subject federal senators and deputies to the criminal justice system. In February Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] stated [JURIST report] that Mexican security forces have enforced or participated in at least 250 “disappearances” in which individuals are taken against their will since 2007. In July 2012 the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego [official website] released a report [JURIST report] saying that human rights violations committed by Mexico’s military forces were on the rise, and alleged that these violations were occurring with impunity.