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Law is not the problem here

OPINION: Although last week public opinion focused on the defenselessness of journalists, there are also environmentalists, activists, members of the LGBT community and victims of organized crime in danger too
Photo: Gabriela Pérez/Cuartoscuro
22/05/2017
09:59
Mexico City
Newspaper leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Mexico still has a great challenge ahead for the full compliance of human rights, despite the fact that they are established in Article 1 of the country's Political Constitution. Those who have raised the flag of the defense of rights from the trench of society do so because they consider that their most basic guarantees are under attack, but demanding the compliance of law leads them to face serious risks that can end their life.

Although last week public opinion focused on the defenselessness of journalists, especially in the states, after the murder of the founder of the weekly magazine RioDoce, Javier Valdez, but there are also environmentalists, activists, members of the LGBT community and victims of organized crime , just to name a few, which are even more unprotected than the communicators.

The void in many regions of the country, in terms of legal protection, provokes the protest of social activists against abuses committed by power entities ranging from business groups, government groups or criminals. Unfortunately, demanding a minimum justice and publicly denounce the excesses, is a work of uncertain results.

Faced with these threats, mechanisms for protecting journalists and human rights defenders have been created in Mexico, but with more failures than successes. In addition, such instances frequently become cumbersome bureaucratic barriers that do not fulfill their purpose.

EL UNIVERSAL publishes today that the delay in procedures prevented an effective protection to the activist form Tamaulipas, Mexico, Míriam Rodríguez Martínez, assassinated last May 10th in San Fernando; deprived of her life while awaiting federal protection. A month had passed without being granted. Rodríguez Martínez, who sought and managed to have the murderers and kidnappers of his daughter imprisoned, had state protection, but she had denounced days before that she had had no contact with the elements assigned to her security.

In this as well as other issues, a contradictory situation prevails in Mexico. There are laws that protect human rights, but their enforcement is far from being applied effectively and rigorously. It is useless to have the best regulations if the country is going to fail when applying them, either by bureaucracy, by indolence or by the complicity of the person in charge of applying them. When is this going to stop?

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