PBI-Mexico accompanied Espacio OSC says the situation for defenders and journalists has worsened with the pandemic

Published by Brent Patterson on

The Civil Society Organizations (OSC) Space (Espacio) for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (Espacio_OSC) writes:

More than 5 months after [the Mexican government] decreeing the first measures to face the SARS-CoV-2 health emergency, attacks and limitations against defenders and journalists not only persist but have worsened.

So far this year it has been documented that at least 10 human rights defenders were killed, mainly those who defended the environment, women’s human rights and the LGTB + population, as well as the murder of at least 2 journalists for their journalistic work.

In addition to the context of violence, it is worrying that during the health emergency, measures have been adopted that lead to a negative impact on the work of defending human rights and information [including] austerity policies, …the weakening of institutions responsible for guaranteeing and defending human rights, …militarization … that has the permanent Armed Forces for public security tasks, as well as the continuation of extractive projects…

The situation of women defenders [has also been] exacerbated…

According to figures from the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Mexico, between January and June there were 574 attacks against 266 women defenders and 42 groups. …During the confinement, the defenders have been victims mainly of smear campaigns, intimidation and harassment, threats and restriction of freedom of expression.

Given this context, it has become clear that in Mexico there is no safe and conducive environment for the defense of human rights and freedom of expression.

For this reason, it is essential that the Mexican State implement a comprehensive protection policy to guarantee that those who defend our human rights and inform us, can exercise their work freely, with social recognition and the necessary physical, digital, psychosocial and legal conditions for their exercise.

The full statement can be read in Spanish here.

Espacio_OSC is a coordination platform of 18 civil society organisations from throughout Mexico. The Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project provides accompaniment and technical support to the platform.

This May 2012 report by the accounting firm Deloitte noted: “Canada represents 75% of the total foreign investment related to the mining sector in Mexico.” The report further noted: “Of the total foreign mining companies in Mexico, 73% are Canadian, representing 44% of Canada’s total investment in Mexico.”

In 2018, Canadian direct investment in Mexico totalled $22.5 billion.

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