Video telesur: Mexico Sees Spike in Disappearances of Human Rights Defenders

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Hector Cerezo told Reforma that the campaign intended to deliver its own proposal to the Mexican Senate on Thursday.

Mexico Sees Spike in Disappearances of Human Rights Defenders
Under President Peña Nieto there have been 81 cases of forced disappearances of human rights defenders, versus 53 under the previous government.

Human rights organizations are drawing attention to the dramatic increase in forced disappearances of human rights defenders in Mexico during the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto, Reforma newspaper reported Sunday.

Organizations affiliated with the National Campaign Against Forced Disappearance held an event in the Mexican capital to denounce the lack of action on the part of the Mexican state to address the problem and demanded legislation be enacted.

The event was held on the occasion of the United Nation’s International Day of Forced Disappearances.

“During the past five years we have seen that our analysis was correct, this practice has increased,” Nadin Reyes told Reforma.

"Thanks to the documentation, we have determined that the practice of forced disappearance in Mexico is a widespread and systematic policy,” added Reyes.

According to the campaign, during the entire six year presidency Felipe Calderon, Peña Nieto’s predecessor, there were 53 cases of forced disappearances of human rights defenders. Meanwhile in the first three years of Peña Nieto’s presidency there have been 81 cases.

Human rights groups have repeatedly called on the government to approve legislation regarding forced disappearances, Mexico currently does not have such a law. Mexican government authorities announced in February that the government was committed to drafting and approving a law specific to forced disappearances.

Hector Cerezo told Reforma that the campaign intended to deliver its own proposal to the Mexican Senate on Thursday.

The Mexican state has been the subject of regular criticism for its human rights record and handling of forced disappearances. Observers have been particularly critical over the state’s handling of the case of the 43 forcibly disappeared students from the Aytozinapa teachers training college.

RELATED: In Depth – Justice for Ayotzinapa

The case of the missing 43 students drew the world’s attention to the problem of forced disappearances in Mexico. Relatives refuse to believe the official version of events and say that the state is attempting to cover up its role in the disappearance of the students.

During an event last week held to mark 11 months since the enforced disappearance of the students, activists spoke out about the human rights situation in Mexico.

According to Mario Patron of the Miguel Agustin Pro Human Rights Center, there have been more than 26,000 cases of forced disappearances in the past eight years.

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