Rights experts in Mexico are expressing extreme anger and shock over the recent attacks on women activists.
A statement was released expressing anger over the targeting and violence faced by those searching for forcibly disappeared family members and loved ones in Mexico. This statement was issued following two recent incidents.
Teresa Magueyal, a defender of human rights, was fatally shot while riding her bicycle in Celaya, Guanajuato state on May 2nd. Her son, José Luis Apaseo Magueyal, 34, has been missing for three years.
According to news sources, Ms. Magueyal was a member of a group made up of families of missing individuals. Sadly, she became the sixth volunteer to be murdered this year.
In March 4th, Araceli Rodríguez Nava, who has been tirelessly looking for her missing son, was assaulted in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero. This happened two months ago.
According to UN experts, both women were recipients of the government’s safeguard program for those who defend human rights and work in journalism. However, there is limited information available about the success of these measures as their cases are still being looked into.
Make sure that everyone is free and safe.
The United Nations experts advised the Mexican government to guarantee the safety and freedom of human rights defenders who are addressing enforced disappearances.
According to reports, the abduction and assault of these activists are connected to the existence of organized criminal groups, extortion, trafficking, kidnappings, corruption, and collaboration with authorities.
Moreover, existing in a perpetual state of fear, danger, and instability has a daunting impact on family members of the victims, members of the community, advocates for human rights, and various organizations.
Investigate and prosecute
The source mentioned that a significant number of human rights advocates are women and elderly individuals, making them more vulnerable to being singled out.
They expressed great concern over the fact that perpetrators of crimes against human rights defenders and activists are not being held accountable despite reports being submitted. The measures put in place to prevent such attacks and protect the victims and targets are either inadequate or ineffective.
The Mexican government must swiftly look into, prosecute, and apply suitable penalties to anyone accountable for the reported violations.
Adopt all measures
On the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the UN expert urged the Mexican Government to take necessary actions to protect the lives and safety of those searching for missing individuals, their families, civil society groups, organizations, and government officials.
It was observed that a current Mexico presidential campaign, known as “De Frente a la Libertad,” is bringing more attention to the dangers that journalists and human rights activists are facing in the nation.
They suggested that it is necessary for those in power to implement effective strategies in order to safeguard individuals who are advocating for the truth and seeking justice.
About UN rights experts
Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on the status of human rights defenders, along with Reem Alsalem, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, and Claudia Mahler, the Independent Expert on the fulfillment of all human rights for older persons, released this statement.
It was approved by a United Nations Working Group and Committee, whose responsibilities encompass cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances.
The professionals were selected by the United Nations Human Rights Council and serve on a voluntary basis.
They are not employees of the UN and do not receive compensation for their services.