WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
14 Sep 2010 | News

Congress Should Withhold Merida Funds Due to Lack of Progress on Human Rights

Today WOLA, AIUSA, HRW and LAWG, along with five Mexican human rights organizations sent a memo to the US Congress affirming that contrary to the State Department's report, Mexico has failed to meet the four human rights requirements set out by law in the Merida Initiative. As a result, our organizations believe that Congress should not release the select Merida funds that are conditioned from the 2009 supplemental and the 2010 omnibus budgets.

On September 2, 2010, the State Department issued a favorable report to Congress on the Mexican government's fulfillment of the Merida requirements, stating its intention to obligate roughly $36 million in security assistance for Mexico. However, research conducted by our respective organizations and others demonstrates that Mexico is not fulfilling effectively any of the requirements established by Congress, particularly those dealing with prosecuting military abuses and torture.  According to the Mexican military's own most recent report, military courts have only sentenced one soldier for a human rights violation committed since 2007 and no soldier has been prosecuted in civilian courts since the Merida Initiative came into effect in July 2008.  Furthermore, while the State Department's report lists several actions that the Mexican government has undertaken to address torture, these measures have failed to curb its systematic use to obtain confessions. 

To read the full memo, click here .

For further information please contact:

Maureen Meyer
Associate for Mexico and Central America
WashingtonOffice on Latin America (WOLA)
(202) 797-2171 ext 210
[email protected]