16 | DIC | 2019
Human rights, Mexico's biggest task
Rosario Piedra Ibarra has been a prominent human rights activist for decades - Photo: Jorge Dan López/REUTERS

Human rights, Mexico's biggest task

Mexico City
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In the midst of a protest, human rights activist Rosario Piedra was appointed to the CNDH

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On November 7, the appointment of the new president of the National Human Rights Commission was widely questioned after 116 senators voted but only 114 votes were registered. Therefore, one of the contenders obtained two-thirds of the votes but if 116 senators voted, none of the contenders would have been able to reach the necessary votes to become the next ombudsperson and as a result, the process had to be repeated.


The fact that polarized the election process was that if two-thirds of the votes needed had to be provided by the members present or through valid votes, nevertheless, the majority claimed the result was binding and validated the process. Ever since fraud accusations have been surrounding the process.

In order to “guarantee that the appointments made by the Senate provide the widest legitimacy to the bodies,” on Tuesday, senator Ricardo Monreal, Morena's leader in the Senate, proposed another election to appoint the new head of the CNDH.

Mexico has to improve its human rights policies

The proposal was an opportunity for the majority to show a different attitude. Not exercising an overwhelming power but rather listening, maintaining a dialogue, negotiating, and rectifying.

In the end, the proposal to repeat the voting process was rejected. After debating for over 7 hours and after senators were on the verge of a physical altercation, Rosario Piedra Ibarra took office as the new president of the CNDH and is set to start her work on November 15.

Last night's events weren't the best scenario for someone to lead an institution that was created as a result of the need of legality of Mexico. The work of Rosario Piedra will be under a lot of pressure if the opposition files complaints before national and international institutions.

Mexico: Human Rights at risk

Moreover, Piedra Ibarra will face a complicated scenario since the CNDH is an autonomous body that investigates federal authorities when there are human rights violations. This period will perhaps become the most polemic and monitored administration in the last 30 years.

Rosario Piedra's success of failure will depend on her impartiality.

U.N. urges Mexico to protect journalists and activists


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