Mar 16, 2012

Human Rights/Rule of Law: Bill to protect activists and journalists presented in the Senate

La Jornada: The chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Non-Governmental Organizations,
Rubén Camarillo (PAN), led the discussion to pass the Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, which establishes the mechanism to safeguard the safety of that section of the population.

Present during the discussion were Alejandro Solalinde, director of the migrant shelter Brothers on the Road, located in Ixtepec, Oaxaca; the director of the National Center for Social Communication (Cencos), Brisa Maya Solís, and the director of Amnesty International (AI), Alberto Herrera, among others, who, in a press conference afterwards, called on legislators to pass the billl in both chambers of Congress during this session and stressed that it reflects the recommendations put forth by international organizations for Mexico.
The said bill has the support of 76 senators from PAN, PRI, PRD, and PVEM, and was drafted jointly with human rights and journalist-protection organizations and the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR)

Senator Camarillo referred to the 2010 report by that international body in which it was documented that in Latin America and Mexico, attacks, murders, and fabricated criminal proceedings against human rights defenders and journalists in retribution for their work increased, as wells as the continuing prevalence of impunity for 98 percent of cases.

The PAN legislator projected that the law will make sure that “we won’t have to bemoan cases like those of defenders Marisela Reyes Salazar and her family in Ciudad Juarez; Nepomuceno Moreno Núñez in Sonora; Norma and María Luisa Andrade in Chihuahua;Agnes Torres Hernández in Puebla; Maximino García Catarino in Oaxaca; or Anabel Hernández Garcia in Mexico City; nor of the newspaper Luces del Siglo (Century Lights) in Quintana Roo or activist Alejandro Cerezo and his family.”

The bill was referred to the Committees on Interior and Legislative Studies for their opinion. Spanish original

Translation: Michael Kane, Center for International Policy intern 

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