Expert says Mexico’s human rights situation is a ‘catastrophe’

Mexico City (AFP) – Mexico’s government has shown “total disinterest” in addressing a tidal wave murders and disappearances, and is systematically violating the rights of Central American migrants, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

In a scathing report, the organization’s director for the Americas, Jose Miguel Vivanco, called the human rights situation in Mexico a “catastrophe” due to the brutally violent crime gripping the country and the authorities’ failure to act.

He extended the criticism to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whi he called “an anti-establishment leftist who took office in December 2018 vowing a change in direction for the country”.

“What is truly incomprehensible is that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government claims to be committed to doing justice in these (murder and missing persons) cases, but doesn’t seem interested in answering a basic question: who are the people responsible for this nightmare?” he said.

He cited the country’s own damning statistics on the violence, which has been driven by powerful drug cartels fighting the army and each other.

Mexico has registered nearly 275,000 murders since the government launched the “drug war” in 2006. More than 60,000 people have gone missing in the same period.

The authorities regularly uncover mass graves with dozens of bodies. But an estimated 98 percent of violent crimes are never punished.