During 2014, 14,413 people were reported killed, 1,332
kidnapped, and a further 5,098 disappeared in Mexico, according
to information from the Executive Secretariat of the Mexican
National Public Security System. The Mexican National Institute of
Statistics and Geography estimates that in 2013 impunity reached
its highest recorded rate yet – with 93.8% of crimes either not
reported to the authorities or not investigated, mostly due to fear
of extortion, the long and difficult processes required, or lack of
trust in the authorities.
Two high-profile cases gained significant international coverage.
In Tlatlaya, State of Mexico, a confrontation between soldiers and
suspected criminals on 30 June led to the death of 22 people.
It later emerged that some of the individuals appeared to have
been executed by military forces after being apprehended. Eight
soldiers have since been arrested and seven have been charged.
In Iguala, Guerrero State, on 26 September, six people were killed,
and a further 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teacher college
“disappeared”, after they were seen being taken away by police.
The Mayor of Iguala, his wife, and over 60 others have since been
arrested, and the deaths of the 43 students have been confirmed.
The case has generated widespread and sustained protests across
The UK was party to the statement issued by EU member states
in Mexico City, which expressed serious concern about these
cases, and welcomed the statements made by Mexican federal
authorities, promising that those responsible would be held to
account. The UK government regularly discusses human rights
matters with the Mexican government as part of our bilateral
The Mexican government has announced a series of measures to
strengthen the rule of law and address impunity, including the
creation of a specific law on torture and enforced disappearances,
strengthening procedures and protocols for investigations such
cases, and the implementation of criminal justice reform.
Mexican civil society is undertaking important work to help tackle
human rights abuses and impunity, and the British Embassy in
Mexico is supporting these efforts. In 2013-14, the Embassy
provided funding for Ciudadanos en Apoyo a los Derechos
Humanos (Citizens in Support of Human Rights) in its efforts to
strengthen criminal prosecution and judicial processes in the state
of Nuevo León, resulting in a strengthened legal framework for
addressing enforced disappearances, and improved access to
In 2015, the British Embassy will support the non-governmental
organisation (NGO) Asistencia Legal por los Derechos Humanos
(ASILEGAL) in its efforts to strengthen the capacity of judges,
magistrates, public prosecutors, police and public defenders in
Chiapas. This project will help ensure implementation of Mexico’s
wider Criminal Justice Reform Programme via capacity-building
Our efforts are intended to contribute to human rights
improvements and help strengthen the justice system, as well as
support civil society in Mexico.