Mexico cannot move forward ‘without addressing the shadows of the past’, says UN rights chief

UNICEF/Luis Kelly Children playing in a UNICEF-backed child-friendly space in Jesús Martínez ‘Palillo’ Stadium, a temporary shelter in Mexico City, Mexico, November 2018.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Concluding “five intense, interesting and rewarding working days” in Mexico, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Wednesday that the country was going through a “crucial” period where it needed to reckon with “the shadows of the past”, before it can move forward.

Recalling enforced disappearances, clandestine graves, tortured detainees and other human rights violations, Michelle Bachelet said in a statement she delivered in the capital, Mexico City, that she was heartened the new Government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, had committed as a “State responsibility” to “search for the disappeared and establish truth and justice for the families and victims”.

“My Office will be an ally that will not hesitate to assist in the investigations”, she affirmed. “We will acknowledge when authorities fulfil their commitments to the families of the victims, and we will also point out any lack of progress in the case”.

Recognizing that disappearances continue, Ms. Bachelet said that “adequate mechanisms” must be put into place, such as a truth commission “to guarantee the establishment of the truth for the victims and for society in general”.

‘The wounds that are not clean, will not heal’

Throughout her visit, she met with families of disappeared children, government officials and many others, noting that more than 40,000 Mexicans have officially disappeared – a quarter of them women and girls – and 26,000 unidentified bodies registered, along with 850 unmarked graves. “These figures are deeply disturbing” Ms. Bachelet noted.

“The search for truth is closely related to the search for justice. The wounds that are not clean, will not heal,” she declared. “The open wounds of the past, and those that persist in the present, demand truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition. Healing will not come automatically; it will be the result of concrete actions and policies. Change and results are needed and possible.

Ms. Bachelet lauded President Obrador’s willingness “to put human rights at the centre of his Government”.

“I recognize his determination and express my readiness and that of my Office in Mexico to support this important policy change”, she stated.

She pointed out that even before assuming office, the Government had invited her to visit, and that she had done so at the very beginning of the President’s mandate, calling the move “an openness to strengthen cooperation with international organizations” to foster a society that respects human rights.

“The first steps in this direction are fundamental”, she stressed, saying that “the Government has acknowledged the State’s responsibility for serious and widespread human rights violations, and has apologized” for decades of infractions.

“More importantly”, she continued, “it has taken some steps to unveil the truth, provide justice, give reparations to victims and guarantee the non-repetition of these violations”.

Highlighting the emblematic Ayotzinapa case, where 43 students of a teaching school disappeared, their alleged murder subsequently covered up amidst corruption and mismanagement allegations, the UN rights chief said the Government and her team would collaborate and finally unearth the full truth.

“My Office will be an ally that will not hesitate to assist in the investigations,” she said. “We will acknowledge when authorities fulfil their commitments to the families of the victims, and we will also point out any lack of progress in the case.”

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The EU learns about fishing and banking from tiny Iceland

Which EU countries have to correct their economic policies?

CHALLENGING THE ZEITGEIST OF DIGITAL – Change making projects innovate mobile support for refugees, inclusive environments, early breast cancer detection and more

One good reason to feel less blue about the future of our oceans

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

Data exchanges: Strengthening Europol cooperation with non-EU countries

Jellyfish are taking over the world – and climate change could be to blame

UN welcomes ‘most comprehensive agreement ever’ on global health

These Asian economies invested in their people – and it paid off

Conflict of interest and misuse of EU funds: The case of Czech PM Babiš

Natural gas: Parliament extends EU rules to pipelines from non-EU countries

Mobile technology facilitating social distance in the middle of a pandemic

Eliminating hepatitis calls for ‘bold political leadership, with investments to match,’ UN health chief says

Some 300,000 Venezuelan children in Colombia need humanitarian assistance; UNICEF looks to boost response funding

Youth Internationalization: part of everyday life in JADE

EU elections 2019: Rise of nationalist trends and populism in Europe challenges the EU edifice

COVID-19: the universal enemy on the battlefield

Finance for SMEs: Alternative supply mechanisms do exist

Commerce is on the cusp of radical change. Is your organization ready?

Deep fakes could threaten democracy. What are they and what can be done?

UN cooperation with League of Arab States ‘pivotal’, UN chief tells Security Council

Migration: Commission takes action to find solutions for unaccompanied migrant children on Greek islands

HIV: embrace not disgrace

Regulate social media platforms to defend democracy, MEPs say

A new catastrophic phase in the Syrian carnage

Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with CureVac to ensure access to a potential vaccine

The impact of COVID-19 on the life of the elderly

COVID-19 is more deadly for some ethnic groups

Disappearing water in a warming climate: a story in four visuals

State aid: Commission approves €39.7 million Latvian measures to recapitalise Riga International Airport

6 ways travelling professionals can cut their carbon footprint

Germany openly seeks more advantages for its banks

‘Collective amnesia’ over causes of global financial crash – human rights expert

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

Coronavirus: Commission concludes exploratory talks with Valneva to secure a new potential vaccine

Deliver ‘significant results now’, UN General Assembly President tells COP25 climate conference

Gender parity has a huge role to play in the fight to save our oceans

Behind the firewall: a discussion on the evolution of cybersecurity in the utility industry

Austria’s EU Presidency: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz aims to “build bridges”

Why quantum computing could make today’s cybersecurity obsolete

EU deploys immediate assistance to help Cyprus contain devastating forest fires

World Migratory Bird Day highlights deadly risks of plastic pollution

Vulnerable young people must not be blamed & stigmatised for violent radicalisation

West Darfur tensions could see 30,000 flee across Sudanese border to Chad: UN refugee agency

Independent Ethics Body: improving transparency and integrity in EU institutions

Do we need a new Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after COVID-19?

A Sting Exclusive: “Doing ourselves a favour”, Vice President Dombrovskis underscores that this time growth has to come from within the EU

Portuguese Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

COVID-19 sparked an economic crisis ‘like no other’ – but these measures can help now: WHO, IMF

‘Continuing deterioration’ leaves Mali facing critical security level: UN expert

Italy and Greece zeroed their fiscal deficits, expect Germany’s response

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €12.1 million in pre-financing to Luxembourg

Venezuela: Parliament calls for urgent EU help for people fleeing the country

Commission notifies the Republic of Panama over the need to step up action to fight against illegal fishing

How defining intangible investments can help grow the knowledge economy

Both sides in Libya conflict agree need for lasting ceasefire: UN negotiator

What is the UN General Assembly and what does it do?

20 years on from landmark Mine Ban Treaty, dangers on the rise to life and limb

Making Artificial Intelligence ethical, safe and innovative

A Valentine’s Special: giving back, a dialogue of love

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: