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“Extrajudicial killings and impunity persist in Mexico” – UN rights expert’s follow-up report

GENEVA / MEXICO CITY (20 June 2016) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, today said that not enough has changed in the protection of the right to life in Mexico since his 2013 fact-finding mission to the country. 

“Extrajudicial killings and excessive use of force by security officers persist,” Mr. Heyns says in his follow-up report to the UN Human Rights Council on the measures taken by the Mexican Government in implementing the recommendations to protect the right to life made after his official visit to the country three years ago.

“Protective measures remain insufficient and ineffective; impunity and the lack of accountability for violations of the right to life remain a serious challenge, as does the absence of reparations for the victims,” the human rights expert stressed.

The Special Rapporteur welcomed “the steps taken by the Mexican Government in an attempt to reduce homicides, tackle impunity, reduce the militarization of public security, improve institutional coordination and information-gathering in investigations of human rights violations and provide legal protection to vulnerable groups”.

However, Mr. Heyns emphasised that “additional measures are still required and should be carried out in practice to fully implement my recommendations in order to better ensure the protection of the right to life.” Particularly, the expert urged the Mexican authorities to approve a general law on the use of force, and to create a national autonomous forensic services institution.

With regards to law enforcement, he recommended that “all necessary steps be taken immediately to ensure that public security is upheld by civilian rather than military security forces.”

The UN Special Rapporteur regretted in his follow-up report the lack of progress in the implementation of his recommendation on this issue, and pointed to a series of tragic events that continue to place the armed forces at the centre of accusations of extrajudicial executions.

Mr. Heyns encouraged the Mexican Government to fully implement his recommendations and offered his technical assistance and cooperation.

(*) Check the Special Rapporteur’s full follow-up report on Mexico: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/32/39/Add.2

The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Christof Heyns (South Africa), is the director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria, where he has also directed the Centre for Human Rights, and has engaged in wide-reaching initiatives on human rights in Africa. He has advised a number of international, regional and national entities on human rights issues. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Executions/Pages/SRExecutionsIndex.aspx   

Check the 2013 report on Mexico by the Special Rapporteur (A/HRC/26/36/Add.1): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Executions/Pages/CountryVisits.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights, is the general name of the independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Human Rights Council that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Mexico: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/LACRegion/Pages/MXIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact
In Mexico City: Gabriela Gorjón (+5255 5061 6374 / ggorjon@ohchr.org)
In Geneva: Brenda Vukovic (bvukovic@ohchr.org) or write to eje@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Mr. Xabier Celaya – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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