·        This challenge that unites and concerns us all is what moves the government to continue working in a jointly responsible way to ensure the full exercise of human rights, he declared.

·        The knowledge and experience of its advisors and public servants, its unswerving commitment to its mission and the firmness and technical rigor of its performance make it one of the strongest guarantor agencies in the world, he said.

·        The NHRC’s recommendations, aimed particularly at the federal forces and authorities, have declined year after year, from 31 in 2012 to eight in 2015. In three years, the number of recommendations has fallen by 74 per cent.

·        Human rights should not be seen as a resource or pathway for illegality: Luis Raúl González Pérez.

As he led the ceremony in which the head of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) presented his Activity Report 2015, President Enrique Peña Nieto declared that, “Society and government must work together to achieve a widespread cultural change in favor of non-discrimination, inclusion, equality, legality, tolerance and respect.”

This challenge that unites and concerns us all is, “Precisely what moves the government to continue working in a jointly responsible way to ensure the full exercise of human rights.”

The president said that, “Mexicans are proud of the NHRC and its invaluable contributions to the country’s development.”

After declaring that the NHRC is an emblematic institution of the Mexican State, which safeguards these universal values, President Peña Nieto said that, “It is a strong, independent and reliable body, with the powers and capacities required for the effective protection of fundamental rights throughout our nation.”

The knowledge and experience of its advisors and public servants, its unswerving commitment to its mission, the firmness and technical rigor of its performance, make it one of the strongest guarantor agencies in the world, he said.

“Having a strong, independent and effective Ombudsman empowers societies and strengthens all of Mexico,” he said.

The president declared that in this administration, “We have a strong commitment to the legal, institutional, and above all cultural transformation of the country in favor of the rights inherent in human beings.”

“Through a jointly responsible approach, we promote a state policy in this area. As a result of the participation of the authorities, autonomous bodies, civil society organizations, academics, experts and citizens as a whole, we have achieved breakthroughs on various fronts,” he declared.

He mentioned some examples:

FIRST: The catalog of rights recognized in the legal framework has been expanded. “Various reforms and public policies have increased the recognition of fundamental rights in our constitutional order, such as, for example, the right to receive quality education or the right of access to information technologies and communication, to mention just a few.”

SECOND: We have consolidated a security policy with better standards of protection and respect for human rights. “This has been reflected in the fact that the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission, particularly aimed at the federal forces and authorities in this sector, have declined year after year, from 31 in 2012 to eight in 2015.

“In short, in three years, the number of recommendations it has been reduced by 74 percent.”

The president declared that the government is aware that it still needs to make further progress in achieving this culture of absolute respect for fundamental rights, and that the practices and protocols “adopted by public bodies, particularly those responsible for public safety, strictly adhere to these principles of full respect for human rights. We continue to move forward and will continue to work to fully achieve this goal.”

THIRD: We have incorporated a human rights approach into all public policies. “As a result of a cross-cutting national program and a broad, ongoing training strategy, international best practices to promote these values are being institutionalized.”

FOURTH: We have strengthened institutional capacities to safeguard rights and provide comprehensive support for vulnerable groups. “Foremost among this is the consolidation of national systems for the care and protection of children and adolescents, women who have suffered violence and crime victims.”

FIFTH: We have firmly supported the full implementation of the new Criminal Justice System. “This paradigm shift, which will come into effect throughout the country in June, will strengthen due process and safeguard the presumption of innocence. It will also speed up trials and above all, reduce impunity.”

SIXTH: New laws are being promoted to more effectively combat the forced disappearance of persons and torture. ”As a country, we must put an end to these unacceptable violations of fundamental rights that threaten human dignity and harm society as a whole.”

President Peña Nieto stated that, “Despite all these breakthroughs, it is clear that the cause of human rights is a cause for which we must work every day and on all fronts.”

“We must continue to make an effort and advance together, so that institutional changes translate into a change of mindset that will allow us to enjoy a healthy co-existence,” he declared.

There are no acceptable levels or figures of torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary executions or attacks on journalists or human rights defenders; one case is too many and must move all state bodies to action, sanctions and the prevention of its repetition: Luis Raúl González Pérez

NHRC President Luis Raúl González Pérez stressed that human rights are not and should not be seen as a resource or pathway for illegality, and that this agency has always advocated compliance and enforcement as a framework for peaceful social coexistence, recognition and respect for the dignity of people, which contributes to effective access to justice and the guarantee of crime victims’ rights.

González Pérez regretted the fact that there is still a temptation to identify the cause of human rights with the defense of criminals, or to see these rights as an obstacle to the proper, timely performance of state functions. He said the NHRC seeks to guarantee and respect the  fundamental rights of all people, which implies the proper, timely compliance with and enforcement of the law.

After mentioning that there are no acceptable levels or figures of torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary executions or attacks on journalists or human rights defenders, he said that one case is too many and must move all state bodies to action, sanctions and the prevention of its repetition.

He explained that an important way of dealing with cases is conciliation, whereby, at the suggestion of the NHRC, and based on the opinions of the authority and the complainant, an agreement should be reached within the framework of the law and respect for human rights, in which the authority accepts its responsibility and agrees various measures of reparation of the damages caused to the victim.

He explained that the National Human Rights Commission investigates, determines and expresses its views on human rights violations, and it is not its responsibility to prosecute crimes or impose punishments, which is the express faculty of the corresponding ministerial or judicial authorities, which are subject to various procedures and formalities.

He explained that the defense and promotion of human rights, based on the provisions of the Constitution and various international instruments, require honoring the obligations which we acquired through the universal and regional systems of fundamental rights in the exercise of our sovereignty, hence the ongoing cooperation with the representatives and working groups of various international bodies.


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