Treatment of homosexuals (1999-February 2000) [MEX33907.E]

According to a report published by the Citizen Commission against Homophobic Hate Crimes in July 1999, of the 495 homosexuals killed in Mexico since 1995, 164 were "clearly executions" (IPS 13 Aug. 1999). In a 13 August 1999 report, IPS stated that members of the Commission had met Mexico City police representatives in July to

demand more vigorous prosecution of the murders. They also plan to meet with other city and state police officials, and with parliamentarians to demand legislation against sexual and racial hate crimes (ibid.).

Country Reports 1999 indicates that Mexican police "at times abused homosexuals" (Sec. 1), and that the "consensus among gay rights groups" is that the police do not "seriously" investigate the killing of such individuals (ibid., Sec. 5).

In September 1999, Mexico City's Legislative Assembly introduced changes to the Penal Code to protect homosexuals from discrimination and hate crimes (Rex Wockner News Service 13 Sept. 1999). The changes entered into effect on 1 October 1999, with penalties for violation of the law being

one to three years in prison and/or a fine equal to 50 to 200 days' salary and/or 25 to 100 days of community service.
The law prohibits provocation or incitement of hate or violence, and bans bias in employment and public accommodations and services (ibid.).

In a 24 February 2000 interview, the editor of Boys & Toys, a magazine for gay men published in Mexico City, stated that the new provisions introduced by Mexico City's Legislative Assembly have resulted in a slight improvement in the human rights situation of homosexuals in the Federal District, since they are now able to take legal action against those who commit homophobic acts. However, the editor also stated that homophobia remains a serious problem among law enforcement personnel in Mexico City, and that the police are no more likely to investigate crimes against homosexuals than they were in the past. As well, the editor indicated that there has been no improvement in the treatment of homosexuals elsewhere in the country, particularly in light of the fact that these individuals do not have access to the legal recourses available to their counterparts in Mexico City.

According to the Coordinator of the Círculo Cultural Gay, a Mexico City-based organization which has organized an annual gay and lesbian cultural week for the past 10 years, the changes to the Penal Code have had no effect upon the treatment of homosexuals by the authorities (24 Feb. 2000). In a 24 February 2000 interview, the Coordinator claimed not only that the police remain unwilling to pursue investigations of crimes committed against gays and lesbians, but that the major human rights organizations in Mexico have also shown a lack of commitment to investigate or follow up on alleged human rights violations involving homosexuals.

The President of the Monterrey-based Asociación Colectiva por los Derechos de los Minoridades Sexuales (Collective Association for the Rights of Sexual Minorities, ACODEMIS) also claimed that there has been no improvement in Mexican authorities' treatment of gays and lesbians in the past year, and that the human rights of homosexuals remain largely unrecognized (24 Feb. 2000). With reference to Nuevo León in particular, the President stated that law enforcement personnel continue to harass, threaten and extort money from homosexuals, while showing little interest in investigating homophobic hate crimes.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Asociación Colectiva por los Derechos de los Minoridades Sexuales (ACODEMIS), Monterrey. 24 February 2000. Telephone interview with President.

Boys & Toys, Mexico City. 24 February 2000. Telephone interview with editor.

Círculo Cultural Gay, Mexico City. 24 February 2000. Telephone interview with Coordinator.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1999. 2000. Washington, DC: US Department of State. http://www.state.gov/www/global/human_rights/1999_hrp_report/mexico.html [Accessed 25 Feb. 2000]

Inter Press Service (IPS). 13 August 1999. "Rights-Mexico: 495 Murders of Gays go Unpunished." (NEXIS)

Rex Wockner News Service. 13 September 1999. "Mexico City Bans Discrimination." http://www.qrd.org/world/wockner/news.briefs/281-09.13.99 [Accessed 24 Feb. 2000]

Additional Sources Consulted


IRB databases.

LEXIS-NEXIS.

Mexico NewsPak [Austin]. Jan. 1999-Nov. 1999.

World News Connection (WNC)

Unsuccessful attempts to contact four oral sources.

Internet sites including:

Derechos.

Gay Mexico Network.

La Jornada [Mexico City]. 1999.

Ser Gay [Mexico City].