Mexico: State Ignores Inter-American Court Ruling on Violence Against Women
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 1:45 PM

According to Emilio Godoy of the  Inter-Press Service News Agency, the outcome of a “landmark” victory for Mexican human rights groups is in doubt, as insufficient implementation threatens an international court’s ruling aimed at curbing gender-based violence.  In two 2009 decisions, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found the Mexican government guilty of “denial of justice” in the murder of three women and the “disappearance” of a community leader, and ordered a raft of reforms and remedies.


The murders are linked to a wave of gender-based killings in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez.  Between 1994 and 2004, at least 370 women and girls lost their lives in a “pattern of gender-related violence,” despite increasing outcry by local and international human rights groups.  The Court placed the blame squarely on the Mexican state, holding it responsible for an ineffective response to these femicides which allowed virtually all the murders to go unsolved – and in many cases, uninvestigated.  The ruling requires the Mexican government to pay compensation to the victims, re-open its investigations, and conduct sweeping changes in police procedure addressing threats and violence against women.


Six months after the Court’s decision, however, a failure of implemention has led some Mexican rights groups to question whether the state is serious about curbing femicide on Mexico’s northern border.  They note the lack of official steps to realize the Court’s rulings (beyond mere publication of the verdict itself) and complain that authorities have shown little interest in working with the victims’ families or legal representatives.  While the government has proposed changes to Mexico’s military code, for instance, it has shown little transparency or willingness to include human rights advocates in the process.


If the Mexican government fails to satisfactorily implement the Inter-American Court’s rulings, it may be brought before the Organization of American States general assembly, and possibly declared in violation of international human rights sentences.  


Complied from: Mexico Ignore Inter-American Court RulingInter-Press Service News Agency, 31 May 2010.