Mexico is a country with a rich and multilayered tradition of human rights advocacy. There are many active national and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and a strong network that binds those organizations, centers of research and investigation, alliances with international NGOs and funders, and national human rights institutions. Yet, despite its breadth and strengths, the human rights movement in Mexico has not implemented an effective policy agenda to protect human rights. The recent disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero are symptomatic of the stark view from the ground: violations by state and private actors continue unabated across the spectrum of personal security rights. In the realm of economic, social, and cultural rights, the violations extend from failure to fulfill the most basic human needs like safe housing, transportation, and potable water, to appropriation of land and natural resources. Most of these violations have existed or actually worsened since the advent of Mexico’s human rights movement in the mid-1980s. This chapter will explore the social and political context or “terrain” in which human rights actors work in Mexico and the barriers to their success in protecting human rights on the ground. My central finding is that the terrain of human rights advocacy in Mexico is profoundly “uneven”—characterized by asymmetries of power that limit the effectiveness of the human rights movement to bring about sustainable human rights protection.
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- Uneven Ground: Asymmetries of Power in Human Rights Advocacy in Mexico
Barbara A. Frey
- Palgrave Macmillan US
- Chapter 7