Press Release

Important Human Rights Progress in Mexico

July 22, 2011

Washington D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) recognizes Mexico for a Supreme Court decision that ruled that members of the military who violate fundamental guarantees will be tried in civilian courts and ordered judges to ensure that their sentences are consistent with international human rights treaties ratified by Mexico.

According to information sent to the IACHR by the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the OAS, the Supreme Court of Justice decided on July 12, 2011, to adopt the guiding criterion of restricting military jurisdiction in cases in which members of the armed forces commit human rights violations. This decision must be applied by all judges in the country. The Supreme Court also decided that federal and local judges must verify that their decisions are compatible with the international human rights treaties to which Mexico is party, including the American Convention on Human Rights and the decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

This determination was based on an analysis of the judgment issued in November 2009 by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights against the State of Mexico over the forced disappearance of Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, which took place in 1974 in the state of Guerrero.

In addition, the IACHR welcomes the fact that the Mexican government issued the "Agreement Establishing the Foundations for the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders," which entered into force on July 8, 2011. This constitutes an important step forward in coordinating the public authorities involved in the protection of human rights defenders.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.


No. 73/11