Committee considered the third periodic report of Mexico (CCPR/C/76/Add.2)
from its 1302nd to 1305th meetings (CCPR/C/SR.1302-1305), held on
28 and 29 March 1994, and adopted at its 1315th meeting (fiftieth
session), held on 6 April 1994 the following comments:
Committee thanks Mexico for its report and welcomes the appearance
of a large high-level delegation before the Committee despite the
serious events which recently occurred there. It notes that the
report was completed on time and takes into account the questions
submitted by Committee members during their consideration of the
previous periodic report as well as the general comments of the
Committee. The oral presentation, accompanied by extensive documentation,
served to update the written report and contributed to a frank and
fruitful dialogue with the Committee.
Committee thanks the State party for the core document (HRI/CORE/1/Add.12),
drafted in accordance with the consolidated guidelines for the initial
part of the reports of States parties which must be submitted under
the various international human rights instruments (HRI/1991/1).
B. Factors and difficulties affecting the application of the
difficulties and extremely widespread poverty have led to the growing
marginalization of a vast portion of the population, in particular
street children and members of indigenous groups who, as a result,
are denied the protection of the basic rights guaranteed by the
Covenant. Moreover, rural populations are isolated because of the
remoteness of agrarian zones from decision-making centres and judicial
organs, which impedes the realization of human rights throughout
C. Positive aspects
Committee welcomes with satisfaction the establishment of the National
Human Rights Commission responsible for conducting investigations
and making recommendations to the Government. The Committee notes
the establishment of similar commissions within each of the states
of the Union at the local level. These new institutions and the
development of human rights legislation which, in particular, prescribes
punishment for torture and provides for compensation of victims,
reflect progress towards the promotion and protection of human rights
in Mexico. The extension of the right to vote to persons who had
hitherto been deprived of that right and access to the public service
by citizens who are not Mexican nationals by birth are positive
developments in ensuring respect for article 25 of the Covenant.
Allowing non-governmental organizations the opportunity to visit
any part of the country, in particular the sensitive areas, demonstrates
the Government's willingness to cooperate with organizations for
the defence of human rights.
D. Principal subjects of concern
Committee strongly deplores the events which recently occurred in
Chiapas, which resulted in many violations of the rights guaranteed
by the Covenant, in particular, in articles 6, 7 and 9 thereof.
The Committee notes that, since a state of emergency was not declared
in Chiapas in early 1994, the authorities have restricted the rights
provided for in the Covenant,particularly in articles 9 and 12,
without respecting the guarantees provided for therein.
Committee is disturbed by the large number of complaints concerning
acts of torture or arbitrary detention when prosecution and sentencing
of the guilty parties occurs very infrequently and falls far short
of the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission of
Mexico, which has condemned these acts. Similarly, enforced or involuntary
disappearances and extrajudicial executions are not systematically
followed by investigations in which the perpetrators are identified,
brought to justice and punished and the victims compensated. Lastly,
the conditions in prison and other detention centres and the slowness
of judicial procedures continue to be a major cause for concern.
8. As amparo
proceedings have proved to be ineffective, immediate release of
a person who has been irregularly detained is not fully guaranteed
in accordance with article 9 of the Covenant.
Committee deplores the gross violation of both the right to life
and the right to freedom of expression constituted by the frequent
murder of journalists, which has reached alarming proportions.
Committee is further concerned by the conditions in which the rights
provided for in articles 21 and 22 of the Covenant are exercised,
as evidenced by the severe repression of peaceful demonstrations
by striking workers.
Committee has doubts and concerns about the electoral system and
practices and the climate of violence in which the most important
elections have taken place. It notes that this situation precludes
the full guarantee of free choice by all voters and the participation
of all citizens in the conduct of public affairs, in particular
through freely chosen representatives, in accordance with article
25 of the Covenant.
the Committee has expressed concern about the situation of indigenous
populations. Article 27 of the Constitution concerning agrarian
reform is often implemented to the detriment of persons belonging
to such groups. The delay in resolving problems relating to the
distribution of land has weakened the confidence of these populations
in both local and federal authorities. Moreover, these persons are
subject to special laws, particularly in Chiapas, which could create
a situation of discrimination within the meaning of article 26 of
E. Suggestions and recommendations
Committee recommends that the State party should provide the National
Human Rights Commission with the authority necessary for its effective
functioning, in complete independence from the political and administrative
authorities, and should allow it to refer cases to the competent
judicial authorities where it finds that rights guaranteed by the
Covenant have been violated.
Committee strongly recommends that all cases of extrajudicial executions,
torture and arbitrary detentions be investigated in order to bring
those suspected of having committed such acts before the courts,
that those found guilty be punished, and that the victims be compensated.
Law enforcement officials should be properly trained so that ensuring
respect for the basic rights of the persons placed under their control
becomes an integral part of their task.
Committee suggests to the Mexican authorities that they fully implement
article 25 of the Covenant, in particular with regard to elections,
by taking legal and practical measures to ensure equitable representation
of the entire electorate, and to ensure that the balloting is free
from fraud and takes place in an atmosphere of calm essential to
the voters' exercise of free choice. To that end, the willingness
of the authorities to accept international observers during the
balloting would contribute to the transparency of the elections.
Committee invites the authorities actively to pursue programmes
for the protection of vulnerable children, particularly street children.
Similarly, the progress achieved with regard to the status of women
should be developed further and greater efforts should be made to
combat family violence.
Committee recommends that the Government should give consideration
to more equitable land distribution within the framework of agrarian
reform and that it should take into account the rights and aspirations
of indigenous populations in that connection. Furthermore, measures
for the implementation of article 4 of the Constitution should be
considerably strengthened. Indigenous populations should have the
opportunity to participate in decision-making on matters that concern