Mexico. UN experts welcome Supreme Court ruling against militarisation of public security


GENEVA (28 November 2018) — UN human rights experts have welcomed a ruling by Mexico’s Supreme Court that the new Internal Security Law was unconstitutional, in its entirety. They have called it a significant step to reverse the militarisation of public security in the country.

"The increasing role of the Armed Forces in the fight against crime, coupled with the absence of effective mechanisms of control and accountability for their acts, has already led to the well-documented increase in human rights violations in Mexico," the experts said. “We applaud this decision of the Supreme Court.” 

Since the start of the legislative process aimed at strengthening participation of the military in public security tasks and in combating crime, the experts had expressed concerns about its potential adverse impact on the protection of human rights. These concerns were shared with the Supreme Court on 12 November. The court’s decision that the 2017 law was unconstitutional came three days later.

The experts said numerous recommendations had been made by various UN mechanisms on the need to limit the participation of the Armed Forces in security tasks, to properly separate police and military functions, to establish effective civilian control mechanisms and to ensure accountability for human rights violations by the Armed Forces.

The experts urged Mexico not to adopt any measure that would consolidate the military’s security role. 

"We reiterate our readiness to assist the Mexican State in its efforts to strengthen the country's legislative and institutional framework, and thus ensure the realisation of human rights for all people in Mexico," the experts said.  


* The UN experts: Mr. Tae-Ung Baik (Vice Chair), Mr. Bernard Duhaime (Chair), Ms. Houria Es-Slami, Mr. Luciano Hazan, Mr. Henrikas Mickevičius, Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Mr. Seong-Phil Hong (Chair), Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mr. Joe Cannataci, Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy; Ms. Agnès Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.