Despite human rights violations, CADSI promotes Mexican military participation at CANSEC arms show in Ottawa

Published by Brent Patterson on

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CADSI video for CANSEC 2023.

In September 2022, Amnesty International posted: “Members of the Mexican military have committed frequent crimes under international law and serious human rights violations with impunity. From 2014 to date, the CNDH [National Human Rights Commission] has received at least 6,661 complaints of human rights violations committed by SEDENA [Ministry of Defence], SEMAR (the Ministry of the Navy) and the National Guard.”

And just two months ago, The Guardian reported: “Lawmakers in Mexico this week will launch a federal commission to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by the country’s military, including the use of powerful spyware technology.”

It then notes: “The commission, made up of lawmakers from both Mexico’s upper and lower houses of congress, will request a report from the army in the wake of recent media reports alleging that it used Israeli software known as Pegasus to hack the phone of a prominent human rights activist [Raymundo Ramos and several journalists regarding allegations of extrajudicial killings by the army].”

The article adds: “Mexico’s military has a long history of spying on activists and journalists, including in 2017 when the army was accused of using Pegasus to hack the phones of lawyers investigating the disappearance of 43 students in 2014.”

It is also believed that at least 109 Mexican human rights defenders and 25 journalists were infected by the Pegasus malware, including Yesica Sánchez Maya of Consorcio Oaxaca, Abel Barrera of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre, and the Comité Cerezo.

Ayotzinapa 43

In February 2019, Deutsche Welle reported: “On September 26, 2014, 43 male students studying at the Ayotzinapa Rural Teacher’s College were kidnapped and disappeared. …German and Mexican researchers have concluded that at least some of the students were probably killed by Heckler & Koch guns that had been exported to Mexico… Heckler & Koch was fined some €3.7 million ($4.2 million) for illegally exporting arms to the Mexican state of Guerrero, where they are thought to have been used in the murder of the students.”

NPR has reported that the Heckler & Koch guns were sold to Mexico between 2006 and 2009. Heckler & Koch was at CANSEC in 2008.

Just six weeks ago, The Washington Post also reported: “While the military is not directly accused in the disappearances, the international experts [appointed by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission] have concluded the army had real-time intelligence about the attack but did nothing to stop it.”

Just months before the killings, in May 2014, the Mexican military was present at the CANSEC arms show in Ottawa.

Sexual violence 

The Amnesty International Surviving Death report (2016) also documented that “the Mexican police and armed forces routinely torture and ill-treat women, and that sexual violence is routine during arrest and interrogation.”

Stop CANSEC, May 31

PBI-Canada will be present at the CANSEC arms show in Ottawa this coming Wednesday May 31 at 7 am to help amplify concerns about arms sales and human rights violations. For more on this upcoming mobilization, please see this World Beyond War webpage.

Additional reading:

CANSEC promotes participation of Peruvian military despite Amnesty International report about lethal state repression (May 23, 2023)

Did a Canadian company manufacture the armoured vehicle used by Mexican police to repress a student protest? (February 4, 2023)


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