IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed its concern over the upsurge in violence against women, girls, and adolescents in Mexico and urged the State to step up its efforts to investigate, prosecute, punish, and provide reparation for gender-based violence. It must also take effective measures to prevent and avoid the repetition of patterns of violence.
Since the start of 2022, the IACHR has noted reports of femicides and disappearances of women in the country. According to information from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, between January and March 2022, 229 cases of femicide were reported nationwide. The highest number of cases occurred in the states of Mexico, Veracruz, and Nuevo Leon, where the disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Debanhi Escobar was recently reported—this case reflects the situation of violence against women in that country. The National Search Commission has announced that 24,600 women have been reported missing. Likewise, according to official data, 2,287 rapes and more than 50,000 cases of family or intimate partner violence have been recorded.
The cases reported during 2022 should not be analyzed in isolation but should instead be interpreted in the current context of gender-based violence against women in the country, particularly acts of femicide and sexual and intimate partner violence. The IACHR once more stated that gender-based violence is part of an ongoing pattern of violence that derives from historical and structural discrimination that is rooted in the patriarchal, misogynist culture of the region's societies that conditions women, girls, and adolescents through stereotypical notions of inferiority.
Under the Convention of Belém do Pará and rulings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IA Court), Mexico is obliged to act with enhanced due diligence to prevent, investigate, and punish all forms of gender-based violence against women, girls, and adolescents through all appropriate means and without delay. Likewise, it should adopt measures to prevent and ensure that such acts of violence are not repeated by modifying the structural conditions, social norms, and cultural patterns that legitimize and reproduce violence against women. It should be noted that these obligations have been incorporated by Mexico into the legal framework that is made up of the General Law on Women's Access to a Life Free from Violence and public policy programs such as the National Program for Equality between Women and Men 2020–2024 and the Comprehensive Program to Prevent, Address, Punish, and Eradicate Violence against Women (PIPASEV) 2021–2024.
In this direction, the IACHR called on the State to comply with the recommendations contained in the report on the human rights situation in Mexico and those set out in its report on violence and discrimination against women, girls, and adolescents, especially those relating to implementing and strengthening measures to prevent, punish, and eradicate violence and discrimination against women, girls, and adolescents. This should include training and monitoring the officials responsible for searches and investigations in such cases, health and justice services, and concrete actions that contribute to transforming the patriarchal, misogynist cultural pattern into a culture of comprehensive respect for women.
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 and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. 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.