Press Release

IACHR Welcomes the Creation of Institutions for the Protection of the Rights of Migrants in Mexico

February 8, 2016

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes the creation of the Crimes Investigation Unit for Migrants and Mexican Foreign Support Mechanism of Search and Investigation by the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) of Mexico, on 18 December 2015. Furthermore, the IACHR also urges the OAS Member States to implement measures at the national and regional levels to ensure access to justice and reparation to migrants and their families when they have been victims of crimes or human rights violations, regardless of the country where they are located.

On December 18, 2015, on International Migrants Day, Agreement A/117/15 was published in the Official Journal of the Federation, ordering the creation of the Unit and the Mechanism, complying with several of the recommendations made by the IACHR in its report "Human Rights of Migrants and other Persons in the Context of Human Mobility in Mexico," as well as at the hearing on access to justice for migrants in Mexico, as stated in the agreement. The Commission stresses the importance of the joint efforts by the PGR and civil society in Mexico and Central America for the creation of these institutions.
Regarding the obstacles faced by migrants and their families in terms of access to justice, the Commission recognizes that these actions represent a significant advance in the fight against impunity for crimes and human rights violations against these persons, and to prevent the repetition of similar incidents. The Commission hopes that those responsible for crimes and human rights violations, especially for grave violations of human rights committed against migrants and their families in recent years, are investigated, prosecuted and punished through these bodies.

The Commission also recognizes the progress made by the Mexican state in identifying missing persons and unidentified migrants thanks to the creation of the Forensic Commission for the Identification of Remains. In this regard, the IACHR expects the Mexican state to continue and broaden the work done by the Forensic Commission in other cases that are found in the paths of migrants in Mexico. Also, it is expected that the Mexican Foreign Support Mechanism of Search and Investigation serves as the space by which the Forensic Commission, the families of migrants and the organizations that represent them, articulate and coordinate efforts in the search and identification of missing and unidentified migrants.

"I want to congratulate the Mexican State for the creation of the Crimes Investigation Unit for Migrants and the Mexican Foreign Support Mechanism of Search and Investigation. These institutions represent a significant step in the development of public policies and the creation of institutionalism addressed to tackle in a specialized manner, crimes and violations of human rights against migrants and their families, as well as in the fight against impunity in Mexico," said Commissioner James Cavallaro, IACHR President and Rapporteur for Mexico. "Taking into account the transnational reach of crimes and violations of human rights of migrants, we call for Mexico to keep adopting all necessary measures so that these institutions are effective. In addition, the IACHR encourages -mainly the States of the Northern Triangle of Central America and the United States - to establish mechanisms of coordination with these institutions," he added.

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 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. 009/16