Human Rights Watch: High levels of violence, impunity key challenges facing Mexico

By Murphy Woodhouse
Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2023 - 5:05am
Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2023 - 8:11am

A major NGO just published its annual report on the state of human rights in dozens of countries around the world. Tyler Mattiace, the group’s Mexico researcher, was frank about the findings in that country.

“Mexico has been in a human rights crisis for a long time, and the situation has not improved over the past year,” he said.

The chapter he authored details alarming levels of violence, sky-high rates of impunity, an epidemic of disappearances, the many dangers faced by the country’s reporters and activists and other grim realities found in many parts of the country. Amid the challenging security situation, there’s also been a rising reliance on Mexico’s armed forces for not just police functions, but a widening number of seemingly non-security related tasks, like running customs facilities.

“This idea of turning to the military is not a solution,” he said. “Because the solution needs to be serious investment and reform in the criminal justice system in such a way that it can actually conduct real investigations of crimes.”

The report does positively note that LGBTQ Mexicans have recently won a number of legislative victories, like same-sex marriage and reforms to allow transgender people to easily correct their official documents. Access to abortion has also been rising in the wake of a 2021 Supreme Court ruling, the report notes.

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