Human Rights Watch urges US to withold Me Initiative Funds

Human Rights Watch sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging her to withhold the 15% of Merida Initiative funding that is conditional on specific human rights requirements, including recourse to civilian authorities for investigating and prosecuting allegations of abuse by the armed forces. HRW referenced their earlier report “Uniform Impunity” to argue that Mexico is not in compliance with its commitments under the Mérida Initiative agreement. Per the letter:

To promote changes in Mexico that are necessary to improve public security and to end the existing pattern of military impunity, the Obama administration should vigorously enforce the Merida Initiative’s human rights requirements. Specifically, we recommend that you issue a written report certifying Mexico’s compliance with the Merida Initiative’s human rights requirements only if and when you can determine that:

  • 1) Mexico has effectively reformed its military justice system to ensure that all alleged cases of serious human rights abuses are tried by civilian authorities; and
  • 2) all alleged cases of serious human rights abuses are in fact being investigated and tried by civilian authorities (including cases already pending before the military justice system, which should be transferred to civilian courts).

We also urge that you to carry out extensive consultation with civil society organizations and human rights advocates, both within Mexico and at the international level, before issuing any report on Mexico’s compliance with the Merida conditions.

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