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Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Wednesday, 23 October 2013 (Morning)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is not an official record, provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review, and does not cover all points addressed)

State under review

Mexico
Represented by 32-member delegation headed by H.E. Mr. José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Documents

To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit the Mexico page on the UPR website

Troika *

Burkina Faso, Kazakhstan and Czech Republic

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on the Mexico page on the UPR Extranet **)

  • The 2011 Constitutional reform, which recognized the transcendence of the human rights contained in the international treaties to which Mexico was a party to.
  • The faculties of the national Ombudsman had been expanded. And, at the local level, the autonomy of the commissions for the protection of human rights had been expanded.
  • The 2013-2018 National Development Plan which articulates a roadmap for the Federal Government in five established goals..
  • Mexico  aimed at strengthening democracy and good governance, so that persons were placed at the centre of security and justice policies.
  • A national human rights programme was being developed, which would be fundamental in consolidating a State policy that involved all authorities and ensured their coordination in the implementation of the constitutional reform.
  • Since 2012, the Government had outlined a new security and law enforcement policy which sought to comprehensively address the causes of insecurity and violence the country was undergoing.
  • A law that regulated the use of public force was being developed, with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
  • Levels of violence had decreased and the national human rights commission had received considerably fewer complaints against members of the armed forces.
  • In January a General Victim’s Act had been published which established assistance, protection, attention, comprehensive reparation and restitution to the victims of violence.
  • Mexico acknowledged that in situations that infringed the rights of civilians, under no circumstances might military jurisdiction operate. Therefore, efforts to redefine the competence of military justice were underway.
  • Federal authorities were empowered to investigate crimes against freedom of expression committed against journalists. A mechanism for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists had also been created in 2012.
  • The President had recently sent to Congress an initiative to amend the federal criminal code in order to harmonize the definition for the crime of enforced disappearance with international standards.

Participants

In total 87 States participated in the dialogue:  33 HRC members and 54 observers  (Statements available on Mexico page on the UPR Extranet)

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The entry into force of the national programme on the protection of human rights defenders and journalists.
  • The constitutional reform which had broadly strengthened human rights in Mexico as well as its national human rights commission. The harmonization of state and federal law in-line with international treaties and efforts made to reaffirm the prohibition of torture.
  • Steps taken to address poverty and hunger and the promotion of social development.
  • The national programme aimed at preventing and eradicating violence against women.
  • The establishment of the Special Prosecutor’s office for crimes against freedom of expression.
  • The fight against trafficking in persons, the enactment of the missing or disappeared persons registry act and the decriminalization of undocumented migration.

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • The widespread human rights violations and torture by state security forces, as well as by criminal groups, especially the high number of cases of enforced disappearances.
  • The continuing high number of violence, murders and threats against, and intimidation of, journalists and human rights defenders.
  • The fact that human rights violations by military personnel continued to be prosecuted in military courts, despite the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional.
  • Mention was also made of the issue of arraigo.
  • The protection of human rights of indigenous people and of people of African descent
  • Access to abortion, especially for survivors of rape and other sexual violence.

Recommendations

States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Mexico.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To continue to work towards eradication of the multiple forms of discrimination against women in order to ensure that women could enjoy a live without violence.
  • To intensify efforts aimed at guaranteeing security of human rights defenders and journalists and strengthening the new protection mechanism, especially through its appropriate funding.
  • To implement the recommendations made by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
  • To undertake measures to reform the Code of military justice in order to restrict the jurisdiction of military courts and to exclude human rights violations’ cases, in conformity with the Mexican constitution.
  • To implement programmes aimed at further combating poverty and hunger.
  • To further widen the protection of rights of indigenous people and to increase the fight against racial discrimination and racist violence against them.
  • To strengthen measures against trafficking in persons and violence against migrant workers.
  • To ensure that all allegations of human rights abuses by security forces were being investigated in a timely and impartial manner and to continue the fight against impunity.
  • To implement a comprehensive rights-based criminal and prison policy and with a view towards eradicating prison violence.
  • To fully align Mexico’s federal legislation with the Rome Statute.
  • To recognize people of African descent as an ethnic group.
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: the Additional Protocol of the 1949 Geneva Conventions; the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness; the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communication procedure; the Convention on Discrimination in Education, the International Labour Organization Conventions on Equal Opportunities; on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining, and on Minimum Age.

 

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Mexico is scheduled to take place on Friday, 25 October 2013

*The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR.
**For access to the UPR Extranet, please fill out the following form to receive a username and password 

Media contacts: Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org
Cédric Sapey, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9695, csapey@ohchr.org

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