Latin America promotes but doesn’t respect human rights

Latin American countries such as Brazil and Mexico have been strong on promoting human rights internationally and in supporting the UN human rights machinery during 2007.

But unless the gap between their policies internationally and their performance at home is closed their credibility as human rights champions will be challenged, according to this week’s report from Amnesty International on human rights around the world.

You can access the report here and click on the links at the top for specific country reports. Continue reading

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Severe human rights problems persist in Mexico: US State Department

The headline might be stating the obvious, but for the record, according to the 2007 country report from the US State department, released this week:

‘The [Mexican] government generally respected and promoted human rights at the national level by investigating, prosecuting, and sentencing public officials and members of the security forces. However, impunity and corruption remained problems, particularly at the state and local level. The following human rights problems were reported: unlawful killings by security forces; kidnappings, including by police; physical abuse; poor and overcrowded prison conditions; arbitrary arrests and detention; corruption, inefficiency, and lack of transparency in the judicial system; confessions coerced through physical abuse permitted as evidence in trials; criminal intimidation of journalists leading to self-censorship; corruption at all levels of government; domestic violence against women, often perpetrated with impunity; violence, including killings, against women; trafficking in persons, sometimes allegedly with official involvement; social and economic discrimination against indigenous people; and child labor.

Read the full report here.

One Year On, Supporters of Dead Journalist Oppose U.S Drugs Cash Proposal

The one-year anniversary of the death of Brad Will will be marked today in New York, Oaxaca and no doubt other places around the world.Groups demanding justice for the murder of U.S journalist Brad Will, who was shot dead in Oaxaca, Mexico on this day last year, are opposing the $1.4 billion security proposal put forward by President George Bush this week as part of an initiative to help the country fight its illegal drugs trafficking problem.

Supporters demanding answers for the killing of the dead journalist argue that the money will go towards funding more human rights violations perpetrated by a corrupt state security system, which they claim were involved in the shooting.

“One year after the murder of Brad Will, no one has been arrested,” said Harry Bubbins, a media representative for Friends of Brad Will. Continue reading