Tags: Donald Trump | Mexico | civil rights | protections | legislation | government

NYT: Mexico Fights Trump, Yet Works to Cut Its Citizens' Rights

Image: NYT: Mexico Fights Trump, Yet Works to Cut Its Citizens' Rights
Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto (AP Photo)

Thursday, 16 Mar 2017 05:23 PM

The Mexican government is moving to rip up basic legal protections in legislation introduced a day after officials publicly rebuked the Trump administration for not respecting the rights of all Mexicans, The New York Times reported.

Labeled a reform to the criminal code, the bill aims to make "adjustments" to Mexico's new legal system that was completed last year with more than $300 million in American aid, the Times reported.

But legal scholars warn the changes would broaden the power of the Mexican government to detain suspects for years before trial, enable the police to rely on hearsay in court and potentially allow prosecutors to use evidence obtained by torture – and require concrete evidence of reasonable doubt, essentially shifting the burden of proof to the accused, the Times reported.

"The new legislation reflects a central contradiction of modern Mexico under [Enrique] Peña Nieto and his party: the version of the country that his government promotes to the world versus the reality it creates on the ground," Times reporter Azam Ahmed wrote.

"The government's recent scolding of the Trump administration — while actively trying to roll back the rights of Mexicans at home — underscores the paradox."

The Times noted in answer to President Donald Trump's order for a wall between Mexico and the United States, the government last month demand "all Mexicans should be treated with absolute respect to their civil rights and human rights."

"Mexico has worked hard to promote its image as a state that defends or advances international human rights,” James Cavallaro, a commissioner on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and a professor at Stanford Law School, told the Times.

"But at home, the human rights situation is simply dreadful: severe abuse, torture, summary executions, and virtually guaranteed impunity."

The governing party and other lawmakers also have also submitted several versions of a separate law to legalize the army's enforcement of domestic security, the Times reported. 

The government said the military bill will help regulate the armed forces, giving them the legal authority to continue their essential role in fighting organized crime.

"But that isn't the right question," Jan Jarab, the representative for the United Nations high commissioner for human rights in Mexico, told the Times.

"The right question is, 'should they continue to do it at all.' The right question is, 'has the military paradigm been successful.' The answer to that, in a huge and overwhelming majority, is 'No.'"

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The Mexican government is moving to rip up basic legal protections in legislation introduced a day after officials publicly rebuked the Trump administration for not respecting the rights of all Mexicans, The New York Times reported.
civil rights, protections, legislation, government
403
2017-23-16
Thursday, 16 Mar 2017 05:23 PM
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