Addressing Mexico’s Human Rights and Security Situation - 2016 Review

The past decade in Mexico—marked by the start of the “war on drugs”—has been fraught with alarming levels of violence and crime and a dramatic increase in human rights violations by Mexican security forces. As 2016 comes to a close, it’s clear that this year has been no different: homicide numbers are on the rise and the government has been unwilling or unable to curtail the impunity that prevails for human rights violations, enabling abuses to continue largely unabated.

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto began his six-year term in December 2012 and promised a new security strategy and a fundamental focus on “transforming into reality the human rights enshrined in the Constitution.” By 2014, high-profile scandals such as Casa Blanca and the case of the 43 forcibly disappeared students in Guerrero shifted attention back to the government’s failure to effectively address insecurity, corruption, and human rights abuses.

According to the most recent government survey on public perceptions of victimization and public security conducted by Mexico’s National Institute for Statistics and Geography (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, INEGI), 59 percent of Mexicans believe insecurity is the most important issue facing the country. That same survey revealed that 72 percent of Mexicans believe the state in which they live is dangerous due to crime. 

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