Feb 6, 2014

Senate approves civil proceedings to prosecute soldiers who took part in 'dirty war'

Original Americas Program Translation 
February 6, 2014 

The Senate unanimously approved the withdrawal of the reservation made ​​by the Mexican government to the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons, whereupon the civil courts now may try the military officials involved in the disappearances of persons during the dirty war.

The ruling approved by all parliamentary groups recognized that "the alleged perpetrators of the acts constituting the crime of forced disappearance of persons may be tried only by the competent jurisdictions of ordinary law in each state, excluding any special tribunals, in particular military.

"The acts constituting forced disappearance shall not be considered as committed in the performance of military duties."

"No privileges, immunities or special exemptions will be administered in such proceedings without consideration of the provisions included in the Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”

The ruling emphasizes that this decision by the Mexican government to withdraw its 2002 reservation to the convention" is according to the verdict issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Coidh) on the case Radilla Pacheco (who was disappeared by military in the state of Guerrero during the so-called dirty war) against the United States of Mexico.

It emphasizes that "the ruling decided that the reservation made by Mexico does not meet the first requirement in Article XIX of the Convention, consequently it should be considered invalid. In this sense, it is clear that the application of military jurisdiction in the case, for which the state extended the jurisdiction of military courts to facts that are not strictly related to military discipline or legal interests of the military realm, is contrary the provision included in Article IX of the Treaty of reference, to which Mexico is clearly obligated. "

The ruling states that "considering the acts of enforced disappearance as an inhumane violation the rule of law, as well as the human dignity and human rights of individuals and not delimited to particular regions or political systems, it is an urgent task of the Sate to fight to eradicate it, not as a political, military or religious cause that justifies overlooking the situation.”

Translated by Nidia Bautista

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