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Message to Secretary Kerry: Human Rights, Not Military Aid, for Mexico

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Author: Emma Buckhout

“The Mexican government has failed to make sufficient progress toward the human rights priorities identified by Congress in its assistance to Mexico, specifically in investigating and prosecuting violations of human rights, the high number of enforced disappearances, and the widespread use of torture.”
–Memo from LAWG and partners to Secretary Kerry

By Emma Buckhout, July 9, 2015

With your help, together we did it: a record 82 members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry last week expressing their concern for the grave human rights situation in Mexico.

This is the most widely supported congressional letter on Mexico ever—and it wouldn’t have been possible without your help! A huge thanks to the more than 600 of you who emailed and called your members of Congress to urge them to sign on. They listened. Now it’s time for Secretary Kerry and the State Department to do the same.

Today, LAWG and partner organizations hammered home the same message. We called on the State Department to suspend the security assistance to Mexico that is linked to human rights requirements this year.

As you know, the human rights situation in Mexico is increasingly dire. Over nine months have passed since 43 teaching students from Ayotzinapa were forcibly disappeared, and their families are still without truth or justice. And this case is only one of more than 25,000 registered cases of individuals that have disappeared in Mexico since 2007. Likewise, the June 2014 case in which Mexican soldiers extrajudicially killed at least 12 civilians has yet to result in any criminal sentences. These cases are emblematic of the broader pattern of human rights violations in Mexico, including the ongoing impunity for officials and security forces credibly alleged to be implicated in crimes.

Providing aid to Mexico’s security forces while such cases of corruption and abuses remain unchecked will only lead to further human rights violations, not make Mexico more secure.  As the memo concludes, “We reiterate that the path to citizen security for Mexico is not that of a logic of war, but rather that of respecting human rights, strengthening civilian institutions, enacting true police and judicial reform, punishing corruption, and consolidating the rule of law and a representative and accountable democracy.”

To read the executive summary of the memo, click here.
To read the complete memo,
click here.