Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Peña Nieto: respect for human rights is Mexico's focus
In a major speech in Mexico City today, president Enrique Peña Nieto said that the recognition and enforcement of core human rights guarantees will be the most important reform of his Institutional Revolutionary Party administration, which has held the nation's highest office for almost 21 months.
During a ceremony celebrating the 15th anniversary of Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), the president said his goal is for "every Mexican to fully enjoy the fundamental liberties protected by our constitution." But Peña Nieto also recognized that human rights standards have and still are evolving worldwide, and he promised to make them "a priority as concrete reforms" are adopted at home.
In December 2013 the United Nations selected Mexico's Supreme Judicial Court for its prestigious Defense of Human Rights Award for following exactly the same approach. It was the first appellate court in U.N. history to be so honored.
"The government of this Republic understands that the protection of human rights must be become a permanent practice of the Mexican State," said Peña Nieto. "To that end, we will promptly consider all recommendations of the CNDH, as well as international defenders of human rights," he promised. Mexico apologizes for rape of 17 year old - after a decade of litigation seeking dignity.
On two occasions earlier this year, CNDH and the PRI administration harshly criticized the United States and Texas authorities for executing Mexicans who were sentenced to death in violation of international law, according to a 2004 International Court of Justice ruling. But Peña Nieto did not mention those cases today.
Mar. 20, 2014 - Mexican Human Rights Commission gearing up for next Texas execution
Dec. 26, 2013 - Condemned Mexican's approaching date with Texas execution chamber poses international risks for U.S.
Among already implemented legal reforms Peña Nieto emphasized in his speech are Mexico's new Amparo Law, enacted in February 2013, and Mexico's Uniform Code of Criminal Procedure which was adopted in March - the first in the nation's 204 year history.
Despite both of those initiatives, and a modern trial system which is now being phased in, Mexican criminal jurisprudence remains severely inadequate when compared to Anglo-American jurisdictions. Tens of thousands of Mexican prisoners languish incarcerated for years, without formal sentencing.
The president said computer access and the ability to gather information must be accorded human rights status, reinforcing a promise he made last spring when he promised every Mexican would be "guaranteed Internet access as a fundamental constitutional right" during his term in office, which ends Nov. 30, 2018.
Women in government
Peña Nieto noted "Our political parties now must award female candidates 50% of their nominations for legislative seats in the federal and local (state) congresses. Without a doubt, that represents one of our nation's greatest advances in the human rights arena."
Sept. 20 - In New York, Enrique Peña Nieto to receive prestigious World Statesman award
Human rights issues
Mar. 15, 2014 - Human Rights Comm'n. says there's no local law in Michoacán
Dec. 13, 2013 - CNDH reports precipitous decline in complaints against Mexican troops in 2013
Aug. 13, 2013 - People of color and indigenous groups often the target of discrimination in Mexico
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at 9:57 PM