It is the first protection mechanism governed by law in the Americas (Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, 25 June 2012). It depends on the Ministry of the Interior, although its final implementation depends largely on agreements signed with state governments, given that it is a federation. Civil society organisations (journalists and HRDs) participate in the Governing Board of the mechanism with four representatives.

Both the Law and the other documents have been subject to wide consultation and active participation of HRDs’ organisations.

Civil society organisations have carried out successive evaluations of the mechanism, the latest being in 2015, the Second Diagnosis on the Implementation of the Protection Mechanism for HRDs and Journalists (Espacio OSC: 2015, 61). This last document stated that the implementation of the mechanism continued to be ineffective, and pointed to a lack of political will on the part of state institutions, whose performance continued to be deficient at all levels (federal, state and municipal). In 2019, at the request of the Federal Mechanism, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights conducted a Diagnosis on the functioning of the Mechanism, whose recommendations are being taken into account for the Mechanism’s improvement processes. In 2019, the General Sub-Directorate for Human Rights of the Ministry of the Interior accepted the initiative put forward by civil society (from the CSO Space) to begin the construction of a National Protection System. In 2021, after several periods of inactivity, this construction process has resumed.


In terms of implementation throughout the country, the signing of cooperation agreements with the 32 states was acknowledged. However, these agreements were not and are not binding and the Federal Government does not have the tools to enforce them, which allows local authorities to sometimes disregard the instructions provided by the mechanism.

In late 2020, the Chamber of Deputies of the Congress of the Union approved a decree reforming the 2012 Law, which will be discussed in 2021 in the Senate, before being approved.

Several states of the Federation have created their own protection mechanisms (sixteen, as of June 2021).

Updated 06/2021


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