The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances [official website] expressed concern [press release] on Wednesday over the state of enforced disappearances in Mexico. The Working Group, a panel of five independent human rights experts, found a "chronic pattern of impunity demonstrated by the absence of effective investigations in cases of enforced disappearances." In their report [text, PDF] on the situation of enforced detention in Mexico, the Working Group examined the legal and institutional framework of criminal justice in Mexico and discussed the current security situation and citizen's rights to truth and justice. The Working Group also explored the realities "faced by particularly vulnerable groups, such as migrants, women, human rights defenders and journalists." The report outlined 33 recommendations for areas of improvement including a call for more investigations, stronger sanctions, reparations for victims and increased attention for the protection of vulnerable groups. The Working Group warned that the issue should be addressed because the "victims of enforced disappearances do not trust the justice system or the Public Ministries." The report was not completely negative. The Working Group did express appreciation for the openness of the Mexican government and recent human rights positive constitutional changes made by the same. Additionally, the Working Group acknowledged "the challenges posed by the current complex public security situation in the context of the fight against organized crime."
The International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance [text] was signed [JURIST report] in 2007 by at least 57 countries, but has not been ratified by the required 20 to take effect. Mexico has signed and ratified this treaty, but it has not been endorsed by several countries including the US, England, Spain, Germany and Italy. In 2008 Guatemala started its first [JURIST report] civil war disappearance trial, while the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] has recently found Russia responsible [JURIST news archive] for numerous disappearances in Chechnya. The UN has also criticized Sri Lanka [JURIST report] for failure to address its problem of enforced disappearances