Mexico: IACHR condemns acts of violence against candidates and calls for strengthening preventive actions to ensure peaceful elections

May, 24, 2024

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Washington, D.C.- On June 2, 2024, the largest election day in Mexico's history will be held. According to the information available, the election of the presidency of the Republic, 128 senatorial seats, 500 deputies and 9 governorships will be held, in addition to the renewal of local congresses, city councils, municipal boards, and mayors' offices, amounting to a total of more than 20,700 positions. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has followed with concern various violent acts against candidates and other political actors that occurred in the electoral context and is monitoring the measures taken for their prevention.
In this regard, although the IACHR recognizes the efforts made by the State to prevent and respond to these acts of violence, it regrets the loss of human lives in the electoral context. Therefore, the IACHR calls on public authorities and the different political forces in Mexico to strengthen the necessary measures to guarantee the safety of the candidates, and to investigate the events that occurred in accordance with due process guarantees. These investigations should be aimed at establishing the material perpetrators of the events, as well as the specific motive of each of them and the intellectual authors. 
Since last year, the IACHR has observed with concern the occurrence of a series of acts of violence, including murders, threats, and kidnappings against pre-candidates, candidates, and leaders or activists of different political movements or affiliations. In effect, since March 2024, the murders of at least 15 pre-candidates or candidates have been recorded. Additionally, the State reported the murder of 9 individuals who were either candidates or had not registered as official candidates but had expressed their desire to compete in the electoral contest. In this context, the Commission took note of public information stating that between June 4, 2023, and February 7, 2024, 33 individuals with intentions of candidacy had been murdered, of whom 16 were aspiring candidates.
The American Convention on Human Rights guarantees the right of every person to vote and be elected in periodic, authentic elections, carried out by universal and secret suffrage, and that guarantees the free expression of the will of the voters. Therefore, the occurrence of attacks against political leaders and activists, in the context of an electoral process, in addition to violations of the rights to life and integrity, also affects the electoral rights of voters and candidates.  
The State has informed the IACHR that, at present, protection is granted a priori at the mere request to avoid acts of violence due to administrative obstacles. Likewise, at the level of federal and gubernatorial candidacies, since February 2, a specific protocol has been in operation to address requests related to the security of candidates in the framework of the 2023-2024 Electoral Process.  
Safeguarding security in all electoral contexts has a positive impact on the exercise of the political rights of candidates and voters. Consequently, the Commission calls on the State to continue and strengthen these preventive measures, aimed at guaranteeing periodic, free, fair elections based on universal and secret suffrage as an expression of the sovereignty of the people. Finally, it reiterates the imperative for judicial authorities to investigate and punish the acts of violence that have occurred in the electoral context, since combating impunity is an essential condition for preventing new acts of this nature.   

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.

No. 114/24

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