Status: Adopted (sub)national law or policy
In Mexico, a law for the protection of human rights defenders and journalists is in place since 2012. Furthermore, the individual Mexican States are adopting similar laws separately. 19 of the 31 Mexican states have already adopted laws on the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs or defenders). Nevertheless, Mexico remains one of the most dangerous countries worldwide for human rights defenders.
On the 25th of June 2012, the Parliament of Mexico adopted the Law on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (Ley para la Protección de Personas Defensoras de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas). Mexico is the third country to have adopted a protection policy for human rights defenders after Colombia and Brazil. Because of Mexico’s federal structure, its actual implementation depends on agreements signed with State governments. As of July 2022, 19 out of 31 States have adopted laws on the protection of human rights defenders. Furthermore, the government is currently developing an updated version of the national law. Protection International is actively providing support in this process.
Mexico is monitored by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, who made their last visit to Mexico in 2017. In the report of this visit, the Special Rapporteur flagged high number of cases concerning the fundamental rights of human rights defenders and the continuing impunity for crimes committed (par. 9). Concerning the national protection mechanism, the Special Rapporteur states that implementation is slow and excessively complicated procedures block human rights defenders’ access to reparation and protection (par. 10). There remains to be continuous widespread violence against human rights defenders.
Mexico is also monitored by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Rapporteurship on Human Rights Defenders and Justice Operators. The last country report on Mexico in 2015 contains a chapter on human rights defenders (p. 157), describing the frequent attacks against human rights defenders across the country and listing precautionary measures taken by the Inter-American Commission to ensure the safety of certain individual cases of human rights defenders.
CIVICUS monitor 2022 rates Mexico as “repressed”, meaning that “civic space is significantly constrained.” Freedom House Index rates Mexico as “partly free” with a global freedom score of 60/100. Concerns include increased self-censorship, killings of journalists and human rights defenders, and increased attacks against environmental defenders.
This information was updated in July 2022.
“A precautionary measure is a protection mechanism of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), through which it requests a State to protect one or more persons who are in a serious and urgent situation from suffering irreparable harm. Any person or organization may submit a request for precautionary measures in favor of an identified or identifiable person, or group of persons who find themselves in a situation of risk.” (https://www.oas.org/en/IACHR/jsForm/?File=/en/iachr/decisions/MC/about-precautionary.asp)