The Comité Cerezo, a human rights organization based in Mexico City, is asking Alliance for Global Justice supporters to show international solidarity by signing this open letter to Mexico’s president-elect Manuel Lopez Obrador. It is especially appropriate that those of us who live in the United States sign, given that our taxes are paying for police militarization and prison construction throughout Mexico. Taking this action shows that we oppose U.S. policies that harm our neighbors to the south. President-elect Lopez Obrador has indicated he may be willing to enact the kinds of reforms the Comité Cerezo is asking for: the convening of truth commissions; amnesty for political prisoners; and protection for journalists and human rights defenders. However, neoliberals and the Mexican oligarchy are mobilizing their own pressure against the letter’s goals, and the administration may also well be vulnerable. Add your voice to this call for real change!
We add our signature to this appeal to President Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador to take account of of the Victims of human rights violations.
We consider that there are three indispensable aspects to human rights that the new government must take into account in order to initiate a real and effective process in Mexico that guarantees justice, truth, memory, and integral reparation for victims of human rights violation.
Our demands are:
1. A Federal Amnesty Law
2. Truth Commissions
3. General Law for the Protection of Defenders and Journalists
FEDERAL AMNESTY LAW
President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has shown interest in proposing an Amnesty Law with a final goal of national reconciliation and peace.
In Mexico there exist political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, a result of repression by neoliberal governments to quieten political dissidence and the struggle for justice that has, to a greater or lesser extent, provided fertile ground for a greater democracy in Mexico. Currently, the fabrication of crimes and torture, arbitrary detentions and extrajudicial killings still prevail with total impunity. Persecution and forced displacement take place daily, deeds that wound the lives of hundreds of Mexican families and impede a transition to democracy even now.
In the years 2002 and 2008, we demanded the approval of a Federal Amnesty Law that might be permitted to contribute to the democratic transition in our aggrieved Mexico, freeing all the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, ceasing the political and judicial persecution against hundreds of Mexicans, and erasing the penal antecedents against hundreds of social activists whose crime has been to struggle for democracy and the dignified life in our country.
We declare ourselves in favor of a Federal Amnesty Law that represents an act of fundamental justice, in congruence with the discourse of the president-elect on the theme of human rights, that would make possible the easing of social conflicts and, consequently, of gobernability.
It is necessary to mention that the Law of Amnesty for all those imprisoned and persecuted for political reasons and reasons of conscience, would not be for the benefit of those who may have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.
WE SPECIFY THAT:
The amnesty has no legal obstructions. It is essentially a human problem, and it will ultimately measure the political will and the degree of humanism of those who aspire to govern our country.
WE MAKE AN APPEAL:
To President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador that there might be a meeting with a commission with the goal of establishing the necessary mechanisms to obtain the freedom of all the political prisoners and prisoners of conscience that exist in our country.
The president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has shown interest in creating truth commissions, in the interest of national reconciliation and peace, in order to clarify the deeds that have occurred and hurt Mexican society.
The president-elect, while being a candidate for the presidency, in Iguala, Guerrero, committed to incorporate a Truth Commission concerning the case of the forced disappearance of the 43 teachers school students of Ayotzinapa.
The president-elect has solicited his eventual National Security team to form truth commissions, that will be formed from civil society, priests, as well as international experts, to clarify the deeds that have occurred in the country.
In Mexico, the neoliberal governments have been responsible for the grave human rights violations against the population as shown in the thousands of victims of forced disappearance and extrajudicial execution.
In Mexico there are hundreds of persons who are human rights defenders and social activists who are victims of extrajudicial execution.
WE SPECIFY THAT:
One of the conditions for building democracy and maintaining its legitimacy is that there not be space in the government for policies that generate the grave violation of human rights in a systematic and generalized manner such as has existed in the neoliberal governments.
One cannot talk about truth, justice, memory, comprehensive reparations, and measures of non-repetition, if the facts are not clarified, that is to say, if the whereabouts of the victims of forced disappearance are not known, and if those who are responsible for the grave human rights violations are unknown. These are indispensable steps to initiate an urgent process of justice.
WE MAKE AN APPEAL:
To the president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in the framework of the creation of the truth commissions, that a meeting be sustained with a commission charged to establish the mechanisms necessary for the creation of the following truth commissions.
1. Truth Commission to clarify the grave human rights violations committed against people who are human rights defenders and social activists who, in the struggle for democracy and justice, have been victims of forced disappearance, extrajudicial execution, and death threats.
2. Truth Commission to clarify the true whereabouts of all the victims of forced disappearance in the country who, without belonging to or being active in a social movement, were victims of these grave human rights violations.
GENERAL LAW OF PROTECTION FOR PERSONS WHO ARE DEFENDERS AND JOURNALISTS
The president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has shown concern for the diverse themes of human rights that would permit reconciliation and peace.
In 2012,of this same year, we drew up the Law for the Protection of Persons Who Are Defenders and Journalists and participated together with other human rights organizations in lobbying for its passage. This was given life through the Federal Mechanism for Protection of Defenders and Journalists, which exists today and leaves much to be desired in the protection of those who have been victims of state violence because of their labor for the defense of human rights in Mexico.
WE SPECIFY THAT:
The existence of the Law and the mechanism of protection of defenders and journalists lacks an integrated policy at a national level that permits the fulfilment of the Mexican state’s obligation in the matter of human rights and protection of persons who are human rights defenders.
The General Law for the Protection of Persons Who Are Human Rights Defenders and Journalists must contain the bases for the Mexican state to fulfill
a) its obligation to respect, protect, and guarantee the rights of the persons who are defenders and journalists;
b) its duty to prevent human rights violations committed against persons who are defenders and journalists;
c) its obligation to protect and guarantee the rights to life and personal integrity of persons who are human rights defenders and journalists when they find themselves confronting a situation of risk;
d) its obligation to investigate, judge, and sanction the material perpetrators, intellectual authors of VHR [Violations of Human Rights] and their beneficiaries; and
e) its duty to abstain from privatizing the structures of protection and security functions destined for the protection of persons who are defenders and journalists, since this has, as a consequence, the rupture of the notion of human rights, whose respect, protection, and guarantee is the responsibility of the Mexican state.
WE MAKE AN APPEAL:
To the President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador that he pass a General Law for the Prtoection of Persons Who Are Human Rights Defenders and Journalists that harmonizes all the existing policies in the matters of prevention, protection, and security for persons who are defenders and journalists; whatever general laws are known, federal and state, judicial mandates and resolutions, administrative and civil measures; with the final end being the establishment of the bases for an integrated policy of protection.