National Human Rights Commission (Mexico)
Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (Spanish: Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos; CNDH) is the national human rights institution (NHRI) accredited at the United Nations with 'A' status by the International Co-ordinating Committee of NHRIs (the ICC).
It is a member of the Network of National Institutions in the Americas, one of four regional groups within the ICC. The Commission is a public institution that enjoys judicial, organizational and functional autonomy from the federal government. Since November 2009 the President of the CNDH has been Raúl Plascencia Villanueva, who succeeded José Luis Soberanes.
On February 13, 1989 the Interior Ministry (Secretaría de Gobernación) created the "General Human Rights Department" as a wholly dependent office within the ministry's structure. On June 6, 1990, by presidential decree, the General Human Rights Department was renamed the "National Human Rights Commission" and gained full autonomy from its parent ministry.
It was not until 1999, after some constitutional reforms, that the National Human Rights Commission became fully independent of the government.
Presidents of the CNDH
The Presidents of the CNDH to date have been:
|Name||Took office||Left office|
|Jorge Carpizo MacGregor||June 6, 1990||January 4, 1993|
|Jorge Madrazo Cuéllar||January 5, 1993||May 1994|
|Carlos Rodríguez (interim)||June 1994||December 1994|
|Jorge Madrazo Cuéllar||January 1995||November 26, 1996|
|José Luis Ramos Rivera (interim)||November 27, 1996||January 7, 1997|
|Mireille Roccatti Velásquez||January 8, 1997||November 13, 1999|
|José Luis Soberanes Fernández||November 16, 1999||November 16, 2009|
|Raúl Plascencia Villanueva||November 16, 2009||present|
In January 2006 the CNDH, in collaboration with the US-based Humane Borders, planned to distribute 70,000 border maps to aid immigrants attempting to cross the US–Mexico border illegally. This action was cause for serious concern in the US government, especially in the department of Homeland Security. The CNDH eventually, in response to allegations that such maps would also lead anti-illegal immigration groups such as the minutemen to common border crossings, dropped the program.
While Humane Borders and the CNDH were attempting to distribute the maps in an effort to prevent the hundreds of injuries and deaths that occur along the border every year, many groups within the United States objected to this as an attempt to encourage undocumented immigration. Human rights and humanitarian aid groups claimed that the maps were not meant to encourage new immigration but were instead meant to ensure the safety of those individuals that would normally cross the border without a map.
The maps, which are still available digitally for download, plot out the placement of rescue beacons and water stations along popular migrant paths. They also map out the high number of recorded deaths to visually show how the waters stations help mitigate the loss of life. Along with the maps, the organization also created migrant warning posters titled "Don't Do It! It's Hard! There's Not Enough Water!", which are widely distributed along the Mexican side of the border. These posters, aimed at prospective migrants, highlight in stark terms the dangers of illegal crossings on foot through the desert, despite what smugglers might tell them. The posters give the estimated walking times from entry points and also mark the sites of water stations and recorded deaths.
CNDH Consultative Council
The CNDH has a ten-member council, the members of which are appointed by the Senate. The Council is responsible for establishing the CNDH's general guidelines, approving the commission's internal rules and overseeing the its budget.
The President of the CNDH serves as the head of the Council. As of December 2012 the other members of the council were:
- Graciela Rodríguez Ortega
- María Patricia Kurczyn Villalobos
- Rafael Estrada Michel
- Eugenia del Carmen Diez Hidalgo
- Ricardo Sepúlveda Iguíniz
- Andrés Roemer
- Alfredo Achar Tussie
- Jorge Bustamante Fernández
- Carmen Moreno Toscano
- Marcos Fastlicht Sackler
- es:Raúl Plascencia Villanueva Spanish Wikipedia biography
- "Humane Borders Water Station Maps And Warning Posters". August 24, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- CNDH website
- (Spanish) CNDH website