AMLO and the US Human Rights Report – El Financiero

Secretary Antony Blinken presented the 2023 Human Rights Report, an annual publication of the State Department since 1977, which evaluates the human rights situation in around 200 countries and territories, applying a uniform criterion to all nations. While the main focus is on human rights issues abroad, it is important to note that he does not exclude the United States from his criticism, acknowledging his own challenges in this area.

The report warns that Mexico faced serious human rights problems over the past year, including “credible cases of arbitrary killings, extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, cruel and inhuman torture, and degrading treatment or punishment” by security forces.

In addition, serious problems of judicial independence and serious restrictions on freedom of expression and the press are pointed out, including acts of violence against journalists, attributing to AMLO a role in the stigmatization of the media. Is anyone surprised? It's not the only thing. It also mentions the high levels of violence of criminal organizations, where the majority of crimes are not investigated or prosecuted. It is worth remembering that this report is not created out of thin air, it mostly cites the Mexican institutions and human rights organizations that operate in the country, some of them, for decades.

López Obrador was upset and mentioned that this is an interference with Mexico's sovereignty. Who are they to intervene? According to him, they are flagrantly violating international law, the independence and sovereignty of peoples. What AMLO does not want to acknowledge is that this was not an invention of the State Department. This is a mandate from the North American Legislative Branch, which since 1977 ordered the Executive to prepare this report annually. It is a democratic exercise that, of course, he does not understand. In Mexico, Congress is never going to give him instructions, it is not even going to change a comma to what he instructs them to legislate.

The report should be perceived as a mirror of the realities that forces many Mexicans to migrate, due to insecurity and the lack of effective actions by the government to counteract this critical situation. Contrary to what AMLO says, during his six-year term, the causes were not attacked.

López Obrador has urged Biden to financially support Latin American countries to mitigate the causes of migration. But a question arises: why should those governments that show serious deficiencies in the management of human rights and security, as mentioned in the cases of Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Mexico, receive financial support?

These reports and warnings, instead of being seen as acts of interference, should be interpreted as exercises of sovereignty and government responsibility. For example, if a report reveals that in a certain country there is no certainty that the laws are followed, this provides American citizens and companies with crucial information to make informed decisions about traveling or investing in that place. It is a protective measure that empowers individuals to manage their risks and responsibilities effectively.

To deny or dismiss the criticisms of the report as an intrusion on national sovereignty is to ignore the opportunity to address serious internal problems that, if not addressed, will continue to affect the development and well-being of the population. It is no coincidence that Maduro and Ortega, faced with the terrible violations reported in their reports, accused the US of the same thing. The three creating a smoke screen to hide and deny the serious internal problems.