Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Mexico City, February 14, 2017. -Within the initiatives presented to provide a legal framework regulating the presence of the Armed Forces in Mexico and the possible approval of the Internal Security Law, civil society organizations and members of academia released in a press conference today the troubling consequences upon the approval of said Law.
Victims of the militarization of public security, civic organizations and members of academia urge Congress to halt immediately the passage of the Law, since in legalizing the use of federal forces, especially the military, in tasks of public security it reduces and discourages the strengthening and professionalization of police corporations, who constitutionally should assume such tasks.
The Internal Security Law represents an affront to the recommendations made by various international organizations to Mexico. It is urgent that the legislators take into account the manifestations against the approval of this Law by both national organizations and international organizations as they consider it perilous for the population and ineffective to achieve a reduction in violence triggered since the implementation of the security strategy against drug trafficking in 2006.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), following its on-site visit in 2015, expressed concern about the increase in violence and human rights violations in Mexico, within the framework of the militarized security strategy. The IACHR considered it essential for the Mexican government to present a concrete plan for the gradual withdrawal of the armed forces in security tasks. Similarly, Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as part of his 14 recommendations to Mexico, outlined the need to promote a public security approach in line with human rights.
As we have pointed out, legislation on internal security is unconstitutional and contrary to international human rights law. No law can militarize public security nor restrict or suspend any right guaranteeing the safety of citizenship unless it is a decree issued under article 29 of the Constitution.
In the absence of an analysis or study based on empirical evidence that affirms that, in the current Mexican context, military action is the appropriate way to guarantee the prevention, investigation and punishment of crimes, we urge Congress to stop approval of the Law. Any Law or strategy approved in the matter of security must have constitutional bases that allow for effective accountability, protection of fundamental rights, and the creation of effective resources in cases of abuse and violations.
The evidence available today shows severe cases of torture, arbitrary detention, disappearances, and executions by the military. These cases should be taken into account by lawmakers, who should adopt legislation regulating the use of force, restricting intelligence tasks, enforcing transparency and endowing citizens with security in the face of the actions performed by the armed forces, rather than approving an initiative that legalizes the Army’s role in public security tasks such as detention, prevention and investigation of crime, as intended by the aforementioned Law.
Organizations and members of academia insist on the need for legislators to listen to the victims of militarized security policies and to make a documented and duly substantiated diagnosis of the results and consequences of the use of the armed forces in public security tasks during the last 10 years.
For more information:
Mariana Gurrola, Communication, CMDPDH
Tel: (55) 55642582, ext. 114
Narce Dalia Santibañez, Centro Prodh
Tel: (55) 5546 8217, ext 111