As the United Nations prepares to review Mexico’s human rights record in November, civil society organizations in Oaxaca publish their own evaluation, from one of the states with the highest number of violations in the country. In the following series Educa, a contributor to the report, summarizes its main findings:
In Mexico in general and Oaxaca in particular, the goals set forth in the 2013-2018 National Development Plan have more often than not exacerbated the human rights situation, as they have been imposed in an authoritarian manner.
This was the case for the educational reform, whose implementation in Oaxaca led to the firing of approximately 1,755 teachers, as well as the arbitrary detention of leaders of the National Education Workers’ Union. Experts note that the educational reform approved by the Congress of Oaxaca in 2016 is more accurately described as a labor reform that violates workers’ rights. Authorities did not even take into consideration the alternative educational plan proposed by the teachers’ union.
During this same period, the Oaxacan government, responding to pressures from civil society, created a Commission of Truth with the aim of investigating the events that led to serious violations of human rights between 2006 and 2007. In February 2016, the Commission presented its final report identifying perpetrators and the mechanisms of repression they used, and establishing criteria for the reparation of damages. However, no further investigations have been carried out to date.
In 2014, the Congress of Oaxaca was presented with a proposal for constitutional reforms regarding the rights of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples, who suffer exclusion from legal, political and economic structures as well as dispossession from their lands. To date law-makers have failed to approve this initiative.
In short, the current government of Oaxaca has taken a step backwards on fundamental public policy issues, demonstrating a blatant disregard for human rights. It does not bode well that the State Development Plan approved in 2017 was developed without the participation of civil society, which has criticized its inconsistencies and insufficiencies.
Download: Under attack. Human Rights in Oaxaca 2013-2018. Citizen report (PDF, 32 pp.)
Infographic: Oaxaca Citizens’ Report