LAWGEF Briefing 4/15: Defending Human Rights in Mexico: Threats, Challenges, and Opportunities

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 The Latin America Working Group Education Fund, Peace Brigades International, and the Washington Office on Latin America,
cordially invite you to a briefing on:

Defending Human Rights in Mexico: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities 

Monday, April 15
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
122 Cannon House Office Building


Alberto Xicotencatl
Migrant Shelter – Posada Belén
Saltillo,  Coahuila, Mexico

Silvia Grijalva
Centro de Derechos Humanos Paso del Norte
Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico 

Ben Leather
Peace Brigades International
Mexico Project

Human rights defenders are enduring alarming levels of threats and attacks in Mexico, including targeted killings and disappearances by both state and non-state actors that have gone largely uninvestigated and unpunished.

Despite repeated calls from international institutions, the Mexican government has failed to implement protection measures needed to keep human rights defenders safe and the state’s lack of ability or interest to investigate these crimes permits this precarious situation to persist. It is time for Mexican President Peña Nieto to commit the necessary political will and resources needed to protect defenders and journalists and prevent future attacks.

This April will mark the one year anniversary since the Mexican Congress approved the Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists. This landmark law, moved forward by civil society groups, recognizes the urgent need for greater protection of rights defenders and establishes a legal framework needed to coordinate between the various governmental agencies responsible for the protection of human rights defenders. Although this law is a constructive first step, there is much left to be done to ensure this mechanism is implemented effectively to protect rights defenders.   

Please join us for a presentation by two Mexican human rights defenders, Alberto Xicotencatl and Silvia Grijalva, as they discuss the risks and challenges they face in their work to address critical human rights issues impacting their communities: torture, forced disappearance, kidnapping and violence against migrants, human trafficking and the impact of the ‘war on drugs’ upon Mexico’s social fabric.  

Peace Brigades International will also present its newest publication on the situation of human rights defenders in Mexico and their video, ‘The Duty to Protect,’ detailing the opportunity presented by the newly established Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists.

*This briefing is being organized by Congressmen Moran and O’Rourke in collaboration with Peace Brigades International, the Washington Office on Latin America, and the Latin America Working Group Education Fund.

 Please RSVP to Ruth I. Robles at or 202-546-7010
Event will be in Spanish and simultaneous interpretation will be available.