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Mexico: Regular press briefing by the Information Service, 24 January 2020: Violence against the migrant caravan in Central America, disappearances in Mexico

Source: UN Department of Global Communications Country: Mexico, World
Excerpts Violence against the migrant caravan in Central America Responding to questions about the excessive use of force by the Mexican National Guard against the migrant caravan, Elizabeth Throssell, for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said that any use of force to either detain or disperse migrants should be avoided. All migration policies must respect human rights and have the protection of the rights of people on the move as their main objective. People in a State territory came under the jurisdiction of that State and their human rights could not be “outsourced”, for example by sending them back or to a third country. The use of force must be in line with international law and guidance, in line with principles of necessity, prior warning and proportionality. Andrej Mahecic, for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), said that Mexico had the sovereign right to decide who entered its territory, in line with international law. He also stressed that under international law, any person in need of international protection should be allowed to enter and apply for asylum. UNHCR was present in the region to identify people fleeing violence and prosecution who needed international protection. This was a situation of mixed movement and the Agency stood ready to support governments in the region to respond to this movement in line with their international obligations. Disappearances in Mexico According to the Mexican Government, there were 60,000 disappearances in the country, of which 5,000 had occurred in this year alone, a journalist noted. Under the new Government, 35,000 people had been killed in 2019. Responding, Elizabeth Throssell, for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), expressed concern by the “horrific number” of disappeared persons, which reflected the difficult security situation and continued human rights challenges. The policy shifts of the current Government had increased the attention to the topic of disappearances. The creation of the National Commission and the National Registry of Disappeared Persons were positive steps in line with the law on disappearances, drafted in collaboration with OHCHR.


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