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Mexico: Over 60 cases of alleged corporate abuse documented in advance of UN Working Group visit

More than 100 NGOs and social movements in Mexico have documented cases of alleged corporate abuse in different sectors: mining, energy, oil & gas, agribusiness, and construction, among others. The report, compiling 68 cases, was presented in the context of the official visit of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights to Mexico.

The cases were documented using the documentation checklist for reporting corporate human rights abuses  developed by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and ESCR-Net. 

The most frequently occuring corporate human rights abuses within the cases are those related to land rights, access to information, and diverse negative impacts to health and the environment due to business activities.

Also, it is imporant to note that in more than half of the documented cases there were different forms of intimidation and treats against human rights defenders or communities opposing to a project. 

The full report is available in Spanish, here

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31 August 2016

UN Working Group on business & human rights conducting country visit to Mexico (29 Aug - 7 Sep)

Author: UN Working Group on business & human rights

"Mexico: First official visit by UN expert group on business and human rights", 24 Aug 2016

The United Nations Working Group on business and human rights will visit Mexico from 29 August to 7 September 2016 to examine efforts by the Government and business enterprises to prevent and address adverse human rights impacts of business activities.“Mexico is a vast and diverse country, the second biggest economy in Latin America with large industries in a range of sectors, including electronics and automobiles, and important State owned energy sector companies,” said human rights expert Pavel Sulyanziga, who currently heads the Working Group.“We welcome the Government’s commitment to developing a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights and we look forward to learning about the steps it is taking to integrate protections against business-related human rights abuse into policy and legislation,” he added .The experts are looking at how the Mexican Government and businesses are implementing their respective human rights obligations and responsibilities, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights"...“In addition to engaging with the Government and various large companies and State owned enterprises, we will meet a range of civil society actors, human rights defenders and members of indigenous communities” added Dante Pesce, the other member of the Working Group’s visiting delegation.The experts, who visit the country at the invitation of the Mexican Government, will hold meetings in Mexico City and in the States of Oaxaca, Jalisco and Sonora...

Read the full post here

29 August 2016

Civil Society priorities and proposals regarding the Official visit of the Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises to Mexico

Author: Over 100 NGOs

Notwithstanding the complexity of the current situation on business and human rights in Mexico, and that it impacts the enjoyment of all human rights, the following list includes the priority topics on these issues, based on our experience, evidence of repeated situations and circumstances that hinder the progress and implementation of Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights:

  1. Lack of independence of the State and corporate capture: complicity, corruption and impunity.
  2. Structural reforms (energy, labor, mining act, among others) that weaken the protection of human rights and favor business interests.
  3. Lack of prior consultation and free, prior and informed consent, and culturally appropriate due diligence by corporations; and proliferation of mega projects with negative impacts over human rights.
  4. Lack of access to justice and lack of compliance with rules and judgments by the State and corporations.
  5. Narrowing of civic space, and increasing abuses and attacks against human rights defenders due to business activities. Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for those who defend human rights; a situation evidenced by the increase in killings, criminalization, threats and attacks to defenders. 

Download the full document here

29 August 2016

Mexico: Civil Society asks the United Nations to document alleged human rights abuses by business enterprises

Author: Over 100 NGOs

The report highlights the human rights crisis that is being lived in Mexico, which has been recognized by different UN agencies and by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the danger to those who protect human rights, land and the territory. In the documented cases of human rights abuses committed by enterprises activities, 99 companies were involved: 41 national, 50 foreign and 8 public. In more than half the cases there was some sort of intimidation and / or attacks against human rights defenders, and the most frequent violations were to: the right to land and territory; the right of access to information; a healthy environment; adverse health impacts, and the lack of compliance of indigenous rights.

Download the full document here