Mexico - Committee Against Torture - Gender-based violence and violence against LGBTI Individuals - March 2019

The Advocates for Human Rights submitted a stakeholder report addressing gender-based violence and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons for the 66th Session of the Committee Against Torture held in May 2019.

The report addresses Mexico’s failure to comply with international human rights obligations. As a State party to the Convention Against Torture (CAT), Mexico has an obligation to ensure that no person—including women and LGBTI individuals—are subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Nevertheless, gender-based violence and violence against LGBTI individuals in Mexico persist, as indicated by direct information that the Advocates received from survivors seeking asylum in the United States and wider research. Between 2014 and 2016, 202 LGBTI persons were victims of homicide, and in 2016 alone, 2668 Mexican women were murdered.

The issue of violence is exacerbated by an inefficient legal framework and impunity. While the Mexican Congress established a framework to combat gender-based violence, this law has not been fully implemented across Mexico, and some legal mechanisms have proven ineffective. The problem is compounded by impunity, corruption in the law enforcement and justice systems in Mexico, and lack of accountability for members of organized criminal gangs who perpetrated many instances of violence that the Advocates’ clients experienced.

The Advocates proposes the following recommendations to the government of Mexico:

  • Train members of the law enforcement and judiciary on the dynamics of domestic violence and gender-based violence, including the best practice standards on responding to such violence. Such trainings should be led by or done in consultation with organizations that serve victims of domestic violence and LGBTI communities, complying with international human rights standards. To ensure consistency for the law enforcement response, provide adequate trainings in relation to the application of legislative norms on restraining orders.
  • Amend the Criminal Codes of all Mexican states so that crimes committed on the basis of the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity are considered hate crimes.
  • Combat impunity by enacting laws to ensure oversight and accountability of Mexico’s state and municipal police forces.
  • Implement the UN High Commissioner’s recommendation to create a national advisory council to combat impunity.