Since its foundation by the Jesuits in 1988, the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Center Prodh) has defended and promoted respect for human rights in Mexico. As a result of its efforts, inspired by close contact with victims and characterized by an interdisciplinary approach, Center Prodh has achieved:
- The liberation of numerous prisoners of conscience through the successful legal defense of emblematic cases of human rights violations, including torture, arbitrary detention, and fabrication of evidence. In recent years we have achieved such outcomes in a series of cases litigated in Mexico’s Supreme Court, setting standards that can help guide other courts’ decisions in similar cases.
- Improvements in the level of national and international analysis and debate regarding human rights in Mexico, contributing to today’s understanding of Mexico’s context of macro-criminality, human rights violations, and impunity.
- The strengthening of local human rights activists’ legal, media, and advocacy work in various regions of Mexico through trainings for victims, movements, organizations, and human rights defenders.
- Successful litigation and advocacy before the Inter-American Human Rights System, UN treaty bodies and Special Rapporteurs, as well as collaboration with international and regional NGOs. Since September 2001, Center Prodh has held Consultative Status before the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. We are also an Accredited Organization before the Organization of American States.
Center Prodh’s mission is to promote and defend the human rights of victims, especially those in situations of vulnerability and poverty, and to build a more just, equitable, and democratic society that fully respects human dignity.
Our vision is of a more just, equitable, and democratic society that fully respects all human rights.
Center Prodh’s day-to-day work includes the following programs of action:
- Justice for gross human rights violations: combats impunity and promotes victims’ access to truth and justice for gross human rights violations of the past (committed during Mexico’s dirty war of the 1970s and 1980s) and present, including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, and torture.
- Citizen security and human rights: defends the right to physical and psychological integrity and promotes changes to Mexico’s public security policies. We advocate for the demilitarization of public security tasks and focus on issues including sexual torture of women and the disproportionate impact of counterproductive security policies on vulnerable groups.
- Criminal justice: promotes changes in the practices and norms of the criminal justice system, seeking to guarantee fair, efficient, and effective criminal investigations and trials that comply with international standards.
- Strengthens communities’ defense of their land rights, through legal actions, trainings, dissemination of information, advocacy, and international activism. We focus on indigenous communities whose land is threatened by the illegal imposition of so-called mega-development projects.