Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Senior Associate
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July 12, 2018
LAWG Joins International NGOs in Urging Sec. Pompeo to Express U.S. Support for Human Rights in Mexico with President & President-Elect
Washington, D.C.—Ahead of his visit to Mexico City to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto and President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador this Friday, July 13th, the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) joined four international nongovernmental organizations in sending a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to ensure that the defense of human rights is a fundamental part of the United States’ bilateral relationship with Mexico. Secretary Pompeo’s visit comes two weeks after Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected as Mexico’s new president. President Enrique Peña Nieto holds power until December 1st, when President-Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will formally assume his role as president.
“The transition period between the current and new government in Mexico is an opportunity to express with all parties U.S. support to address existing challenges in strengthening the rule of law and combating corruption, as well as to encourage progress in advancing investigations and prosecutions into human rights violations,” the letter states.
“Mexico’s current president and the president-elect have a responsibility to ensure that the thousands of victims and their families who have suffered disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial executions are not left without justice. Secretary Pompeo’s visit comes at a crucial time. He should urge the existing and new government to make progress in addressing human rights violations and strengthening the rule of law instead of pressuring Mexico to militarize its borders and public security,” states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, LAWG Senior Associate for Mexico, Migrant Rights and Border Issues.
The organizations express concern about the ongoing human rights crisis in the country and high levels of impunity for all crimes, including violations committed by Mexican security forces and in cases of torture, disappearances, and abuses against migrant rights, human rights defenders, and journalists. The NGOs also emphasize the need to reform the institutions that play a key role in combating impunity and corruption, such as the need for a strong and independent National Prosecutor’s Office. They call on Secretary Pompeo to address these key issues in his discussions with the Mexican President and President-elect.