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Mexico: Human Rights Abuses and the Presidential Elections

The documentary A Schizophrenic State by Charlotte King follows the stories of San Salvador Atenco and Oaxaca, two places in Mexico who suffered human rights abuses by the ruling political parties, including a Governor who now would like to become President.

Two social movements show the lack of respect for human rights expressed by the Mexican Government as the protests for land rights and the struggle for education were met with brutality including deaths, imprisonment, and allegations of torture in the shape of sexual abuses.  These actions led to the labeling of the Mexican government as schizophrenic by Amnesty International, since on the international stage Mexico champions for Human Rights, but allows violations to take place in their lands.

Reports on the human rights’ abuses  in Atenco and Oaxaca can be found on the Amnesty International Website.  On Atenco:

At least 211 people were arrested on 3 and 4 May 2006 in the towns of Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco, Mexico State, following a police operation carried out in response to protests by activists from a local peasant organization. Among those arrested were 47 women. This report describes what happened to the women, with particular emphasis on the reports of sexual abuse as well as the lack of effective and impartial investigations to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.

On Oaxaca:

In June 2006 widespread protests demanding the resignation of the State Governor erupted in Oaxaca State. For several months Oaxaca City was brought to a standstill. This report focuses on some of the serious human rights violations reported during the crisis, such as excessive use of force (including lethal force), arbitrary and incommunicado detention, ill-treatment and torture, threats, harassment of human rights defenders and journalists, and violations in due process and the right to fair trial. Municipal, state and federal police reportedly committed the majority of these abuses.

As the 2012 Presidential Elections come closer, there is a need to clarify these human rights abuses and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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