Crime and Violence · Human Rights and Civil Society · Transparency & accountability


02/07/2011—Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated on February 3, 2011, that military and police officers were involved in a series of deaths and disappearances in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon in 2010. In one investigation which focuses on eight specific cases, Human Rights Watch found that the killings in each of the cases was a “result of unlawful use of lethal force by army and navy officers.” Aside from this specific investigation, HRW has found this to be the case in at least twelve other instances. Jose Miguel Vivance, the Americas Director at Human Right Watch, pointed out that the failure to prosecute army, navy or police officials who abuse their power sends the message that these actions are acceptable in “combating organized crime.”  Further investigation led HRW to believe that the civilian justice officials who opened the cases had not “interviewed key witnesses, visited the crime scene, or carried out some of the most basic procedural steps.” The Mexican Military has also done their part by failing to conduct “meaningful investigations.”

In dealing with the accountability of its citizen’s protection, Mexico has been a party to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance since March 2008. Under this treaty, Mexico is bound to “record and provide details of any individuals detention, investigate any alleged disappearance, and hold anyone involved criminally responsible.” On December 20, 2010,the International Convention issued a warning to Mexico that “all human rights violations should be investigated.” This has been the fourth warning since 2008.


Human Rights Watch, “Mexico: Deliver Justice for Killings, Disappearances in Monterrey.” Human Rights 03, February 2011.

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