President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday Dec. 10 sent Congress proposals to create general laws to prevent and punish crimes relating to enforced disappearances, torture and other cruel or degrading treatment in order to eradicate these practices in Mexico.
During the celebration of the National Human Rights Award 2015 at the Adolfo López Mateos room of the presidential residence of Los Pinos, Peña Nieto signed the federal initiatives.
These are projects of great importance in the fight against these scourges which threaten human dignity, he said.
Accompanied by National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) President Luis Raúl González Pérez, Peña Nieto said that the law to prevent and punish enforced disappearances establishes four instruments for a public policy aimed at this purpose.
The law provides for the creation of a national search system, which instructs the immediate mobilization of public security and law enforcement institutions during the first hours after a disappearance, which are critical. It also implements a national registry of missing and non-located persons, supported by information from hospitals, detention centers and medical and forensic services.
It also proposes the creation of a national forensics registry, equipped with the latest technological advancements to facilitate the location of people, and a national citizens council composed of advocates, experts and family who would advise and give opinions to the National Search System.
The law to prevent and punish torture establishes the creation of specialized investigation units at the federal and state levels and a national prevention mechanism where the CNDH and local human rights organizations would participate.
The initiative also proposes the creation of the crimes of torture and other degrading treatments national registry, composed of data from the Attorney General’s Office and its state branches, which would allow for the tracking of information on the progress against torture.
Peña Nieto restated the commitment of his administration to human dignity, human rights and the ongoing strengthening of the regulatory framework and institutional capacities. Both initiatives are the product of a consultation process with legislators, academics, specialists and civil society.
If these laws are enacted, it will mark the first time a strategy exists that joins all three levels of government in a forceful attack on these crimes, which will be pursued with the full weight of the law within a nationwide legal framework, he said.
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