The California Assembly last week, on a strong bipartisan vote, passed House Resolution 5, authored by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) calling on the government of Mexico to address persistent human rights violations in their country.
“It's no secret Mexico's government has long been plagued with corruption,” Garcia said. “California needs to send a strong message that their most recent and atrocious violations are unacceptable.”
“California is an economic powerhouse. We are in position to insist that the Mexican government begin to seriously address the injustices they have long been associated with. Our co-operation should not come without strings,” she added.
HR 5 urges the government of Mexico to support further dialogue between the international community, including the United States, and human rights organizations regarding human rights reforms.
In September of last year, 43 college students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School in Guerrero, Mexico, disappeared in Iguala, Mexico. In November, Mexico’s Attorney General, Jésus Murillo Karam, announced in a televised press conference that evidence indicated that the 43 missing students had been executed and incinerated in the municipal dump of Cocula, Mexico, by the Guerreros Unidos cartel at the behest of corrupt officials.
Last summer, when President Pena Nieto addressed the California State Legislature, he spoke of the reforms implemented during the first months of his presidency - reforms that “focused on safeguarding human rights and streamlining the process for citizens to use this protective tool against abuses of authority that violate their rights.”
However, his words and the actions of his government do not match. Instead of seriously addressing the concerns of his citizens, the President has traveled abroad visiting other governments and characterizing the protests of Mexican citizens as a conspiracy to destabilize the government. The Massacre in Iquala perfectly illustrates the situation in Mexico.
It is reported that between 25,000 and 26,000 people have disappeared in Mexico since 2006 and those who disappear often include the very vulnerable, such as poor migrants, indigenous people, women and children.
The government, the law enforcement and the drug cartels are connected – creating an environment riddled with crime and violence that is driving thousands of refugees to take the dangerous journey to the U.S.
“I am thankful that the California State Assembly, stood in a bipartisan vote to add our voices condemning the disappearance of the 43 students and demanding that Mexico start to address human rights violations that continue to run rampant within the country,” Garcia concluded.