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Cablegate: Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte Meets With

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DE RUEHME #6044/01 3392114
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 052114Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9795
INFO RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USNORTHCOM
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0101
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 006044

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/MEX, INR, INL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON MX
SUBJECT: DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE NEGROPONTE MEETS WITH
MEXICAN HUMAN RIGHTS/RULE OF LAW ORGANIZATIONS


MEXICO 00006044 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary: On October 30, Deputy Secretary
Negroponte met with Mexican human rights groups to address
the concerns raised in recent weeks regarding both President
Calderon,s approach to law enforcement and the Merida
Initiative. He conveyed the U.S. commitment to promoting
greater respect for human rights in Mexico and listened to
concerns regarding what group members believe to be the
sub-par human rights performance by Mexican security
elements. He acknowledged that these need to be addressed,
at the same time stressing that better equipment and training
are fundamental to professionalizing Mexico,s security
forces and curbing rights abuses. End Summary.

2. (SBU) None of the representatives from the six human
rights/rule of law organizations (including Amnesty
International Mexico) objected outright to the Merida
Initiative, but all expressed hope that some initiative funds
would be used to address systemic weaknesses that encouraged
human rights abuses by security elements here. In addition,
representatives expressed concern with:

--Mexico,s judicial system: Most criticized the
inefficiencies of the current inquisitorial system and cited
them as the most significant obstacles to improving law
enforcement in Mexico. The group welcomed reforms of the
civil and criminal procedure codes that had been discussed,
but thought that the could be implemented more quickly.
Lucy Tacher of the rule of law NGO ProDerecho cited the move
to an accusatorial justice system already underway in the
state of Chihuahua as a positive development and said it was
a model for what could be accomplished on a national level.


-- Militarization: Many of the NGOs raised concerns about the
use of military units to fight drug traffickers. They
complained about the lack of civilian control over the
military, as well as inadequate investigation of human rights
abuses and criminal activity, including drug and human
trafficking. Lauren McCulloch, of the Miguel Agustin Pro
Juarez Human Rights Center maintained that the police and
military regularly exercise excessive force and rarely face
consequences. She remarked that several women have been
raped by law enforcement officials while they were detained
but have not filed official complaints for fear of
retribution.

3. (SBU) While they did not object to enhanced bilateral
counter-narcotics cooperation, the human rights
representatives urged the U.S. to ensure that significant
resources are used to strengthening institutions that protect
human rights. The rights groups also called on the U.S. to
use the initiative to leverage greater accountability for
police and military accused of committing right abuses.
Liliana Velazquez Ramirez, President of Amnesty International
Mexico, recognized the Mexican government needs to put
security near the top of its policy agenda, but said it must
do far more to address concerns about impunity of police and
military units accused of rights abuses.

4. (SBU) The Deputy Secretary concluded by noting that the
level of violence had increased substantially in Mexico since
his tenure as Ambassador here, pointing out that 250 members
of law enforcement and the military had been murdered so far
this year. While taking on the concerns raised by group
members with regards to poor human rights performance of law
enforcement elements in Mexico, he emphasized the salutary
impact providing greater resources and training would have on
overall police performance. Ultimately, better
professionalism and higher standards would result in fewer
abuses.

5. Groups attending the round table were: Amnesty
International Mexico, the National Network of Human Rights
Organizations, the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights
Center, Mexico United Against Crime, ProDerecho and the
Community Participation in Public Security. Ambassador
Negroponte was accompanied by members of his staff, Assistant
Secretary of State Tom Shannon, Ambassador Garza, Embassy DCM

SIPDIS
Leslie Bassett and two political officers.

MEXICO 00006044 002.2 OF 002


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /
GARZA

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