Impunity and human rights violations in Mexico continue unabated

Human rights violations and the lack of an adequate response by the state remain the rule rather than the exception. The time has come for Mexico’s judiciary to react.


  • Katya Salazar

    Katya Salazar is a Peruvian lawyer and current the director of the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF).  Under her leadership, DPLF has focused on human rights and extractive industries program and became involved in the defense of the inter-American system of human rights. Before joining the DPLF team, she was the Adjunct Coordinator of the Special Investigations Unit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru. She was also part of the legal team of the Coalition Against Impunity (Nuremberg, Germany) that prepared the denunciation and promoted the criminal procedure in Germany against members of the Argentinian military for the disappearance of German citizens under Argentinian dictatorship.  She has written numerous articles on topics such as judicial independence, inter-American law, the rights of the Indigenous peoples, access to justice, and transitional justice.

The human rights situation in Mexico has deteriorated remarkably. The war against drugs has had a critical effect on the increase in violence generated by criminal groups, but also in crimes committed by state forces. Despite the fact that the Mexican government, acknowledging this situation, has taken measures to deal with it, the reality is that human rights violations and the lack of an adequate response by the judiciary remain the rule rather than the exception.

This is the context in which, on the night of September, 26, 2014, forty-three students disappeared from the rural teacher training college Raúl Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. Although this was neither the first nor the last case of disappeared persons in Mexico, their sheer number, the fact that they were students, the involvement of state forces at different levels, and the persistence of the victims’ family members converged to trigger national and international public indignation.

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