Press Release

IACHR Issues Protection Measures for Two Missing Persons in Mexico

October 18, 2019

   Related links

   Contact info

IACHR Press Office

   More on the IACHR
A+ A-

Washington, D.C. - On October 4, 2019, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 51/2019 granting precautionary protection measures for Aaron Casimiro Méndez Ruíz and Alfredo Castillo, in Mexico, whom it deems to be at serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their human rights.

According to the request, the beneficiaries work at a migrant shelter in Tamaulipas, Mexico. On August 3, 2019, they allegedly received migrants at the shelter who said that the beneficiaries were being chased by men in a pickup truck. The beneficiaries later reportedly went to answer a telephone call at the shelter and neither of the two returned. The information provided suggests that an armed group may be involved.

The IACHR requested information from the state and was informed of various actions being implemented to locate the beneficiaries and identify the aggressors, and was also told that searches were being carried out at the national and state levels in coordination with different areas of government. These state initiatives notwithstanding, the IACHR observes that despite two months having gone by since the beneficiaries disappeared, there is no concrete information on their whereabouts or what has happened to them, which implies that their rights to life and personal integrity are seriously at risk.

The IACHR also received information regarding the alleged harassment of the beneficiaries’ families by the armed group that is reportedly involved in these events. Given that there are no security measures in place to protect these family members, the IACHR deemed that they are also at risk, especially as they are continuing to search for the two men who have disappeared.

Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure, the Commission requested that Mexico take the necessary steps toward determining the whereabouts of Aaron Casimiro Méndez Ruíz and Juan Alfredo Castillo de Luna so as to protect their rights to life and personal integrity. Consequently, the IACHR urges the state to ensure that an effective search is carried out through the specialist mechanisms it has established for these purposes; take the necessary steps to protect the right to life and personal integrity of the beneficiaries's families; that it determine the measures to be adopted in consultation with the beneficiaries’ representatives; and that it report on the actions it takes to investigate the allegations that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure so as to prevent them from being repeated.

The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its adoption by the state does not entail a prejudgment on any petition that may eventually be filed before the inter-American system to allege that the rights protected by the American Declaration and other relevant instruments have been violated.

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. 264/19