Amnesty International says it is not only concerned that cases of enforced disappearances continue but also the “almost absolute impunity” enjoyed by those allegedly responsible.
The government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has deployed more military personnel as part of its public security strategy than the administrations of Enrique Peña Nieto and Felipe Calderón, Amnesty International (AI) warned today in its 2020/2021 report.
In the section on the country, AI warned that President López Obrador himself “stigmatized human rights defenders and the media on various occasions, and minimized the problem of violence against women. “
The organization noted that the López Obrador government’s reaction to the pandemic was “cuts in public spending” that implied dissolving public trusts, “including those established to support the protection of human rights defenders, journalists, and victims of violations. from the human rights”.
Regarding the security forces, AI expressed concern that they continued to carry out arbitrary arrests and resort to “excessive use of force, which at times led to unlawful killings. “
In that sense, he stressed that “the government deployed more military personnel in the public security strategy than the two previous presidential administrations. “
He recalled that AMLO issued a decree last May that allows the deployment of armed forces for public security operations to be maintained until March 2024, despite the fact that said decree “lacked substantive regulations to guarantee that the behavior of the armed forces was in accordance with international standards “.
In addition, he noted, AMLO put control of ports and customs in the hands of the Armed Forces.
Among the unlawful killings, AI mentioned the case of Giovanni López, which occurred in Jalisco in May after being detained by the municipal police for not wearing a mask, something that state authorities denied, as well as the case of Jéssica Silva, who died “by accident. “at the hands of the National Guard in Chihuahua.
On the issue of enforced disappearances at the hands of State agents or non-State agents, Amnesty said that it is not only concerned that the cases continue, but also the “almost absolute impunity” enjoyed by those allegedly responsible.
Violence against women was another element AI asked to pay attention to. Not only do they continue, but López Obrador minimizes the problem, “questioning the validity of the telephone calls made to emergency services to denounce gender violence in the family and criticizing the protests of women against femicides.”
Threats and attacks against human rights defenders have also continued, with 24 of them assassinated according to civil society organizations, as well as against those who work in the media, of whom, as of November, at least 19 had been assassinated. .
AI mentioned the case of the state news agency, Notimex, accused of undertaking “a defamatory campaign against various journalists and media outlets that published content critical of the government,” as well as the letter signed by 650 journalists and intellectuals accusing López Obrador to weaken the press “by favoring an environment conducive to censorship, administrative sanctions and the improper use of the law” to intimidate it.
AI denounced that torture and ill-treatment persist and are a “cause for deep concern”, as well as the fact that the accused “rarely” appear “before justice.” He also questioned “the excessive use of force”, as well as the “kidnappings, assaults and homicides” of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in the country.