Mexico: List of government-funded institutions that assist those having difficulty obtaining state protection (November 2004)
In Mexico, the National Human Rights Commission (Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos, CNDH) and State Human Rights Commissions (Comisiones Estatales de Derechos Humanos, CEDH) are government-funded organizations that provide recourse to those citizens who wish to file a human rights violation complaint against a public servant such as a police officer (REDRESS May 2003, 12; JSCA 2003; CNDH n.d.a).
Specifically, the CNDH receives complaints related to acts or omissions by federal public servants that have allegedly resulted in a violation of an individual's rights (ibid. 19 Mar. 2001). The CEDH receive complaints related to acts or omissions by state or municipal public servants, within their respective states, that have allegedly resulted in a violation of an individual's rights (ibid.). The CNDH and CEDHs, after investigating a complaint, issue recommendations to the authorities or levels of government under whose jurisdiction the public servants in question work (ibid.).
However, there are areas of government that the human rights commissions cannot investigate, as they fall into other entities' jurisdictions; these include issues related to labour matters, acts or omissions by electoral authorities, and agrarian issues (ibid.).
According to the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA), the CNDH "has exclusive jurisdiction" over complaints concerning human rights violations committed by federal authorities or public servants, excluding members of the Federal Judicial Branch (2003). However, as mentioned further on in this Response, the CNDH acts as a final avenue of appeal for unconventional (inconformidades) state-level complaints (CNDH n.d.a.; see also REDRESS May 2003, 12).
While the human rights commissions are mandated to investigate whether a public servant violated a citizen's human rights and "issue non-binding recommendations to the public prosecution or any other public institution whose public servants were allegedly involved in the violation," the commissions "do not have the authority to criminally prosecute individuals" (REDRESS May 2003, 12; see also JSCA 2003). Moreover, with regard to state-level human rights commissions, Amnesty International noted that the "quality and independence" of each CEDH "varies widely between the 31 Mexican states" (19 Aug. 2004). Country Reports 2003 also mentioned that while the CEDHs are reportedly autonomous organizations, state governors have the power to appoint CEDH presidents (25 Feb. 2004, Sec. 4).
For more information about the effectiveness of the CNDH and CEDHs in Mexico, please see the Research Directorate's May 2004 Issue Paper entitled Mexico: Police and MEX42663.E of 1 October 2004 about possible recourse for victims of bribery demands/corruption by government officials.
The following is a list of all human rights commissions across the country divided by region, including CNDH bureaus, CEDH offices and the Federal District Human Rights Commission (Comision de Derechos Humanons Distrito Federal, CDHDF). The population of each state, taken from the 14 February 2000 census, is also listed (Europa World Year Book 2004 2004, 2878). Please note that the names applied to state-level human rights commissions vary in some states; for instance, the Guanajuato CEDH is called the Guanajuato State Human Rights Attorney (Procuraduria de los Derechos Humanos del Estado de Guanajuato, PDHEG) (CNDH n.d.u).
Baja California (pop. 2,487,367)
The human rights commission in this state is called the Baja California Attorney for Human Rights and Citizen Protection (Procuraduria de los Derechos Humanos y Proteccion Ciudadana del Estado de Baja California) (CNDH n.d.b). In addition to its head office in Tijuana, this commission has four district offices in Tecate, Valle de San Quintin, Ensenada, and Mexicali (ibid.).
Baja California Sur (pop. 424,041)
The head office of the CEDH Baja California Sur is based in La Paz and four district bureaus can also be found in Los Cabos, Loreto, Mulege, and Comondu (ibid. n.d.c).
Sonora (pop. 2,216,969)
The CEDH Sonora is located in the city of Hermosillo and does not have bureaus in other districts of that state (ibid. n.d.d.).
Chihuahua (pop. 3,052,907)
The head office of the CEDH Chihuahua is located in the city of Chihuahua (ibid. n.d.e). Three district bureaus are situated in Ciudad Juarez, Cuauhtemoc, and Hidalgo del Parral (ibid.).
Coahuila (pop. 2,298,070)
The CEDH Coahuila head office is based in Saltillo (ibid. n.d.f.). Three district bureaus are located in Torreon, Piedras Negras, and Monclova (ibid.).
Sinaloa (pop. 2,536,844)
The head office of the CEDH Sinaloa is situated in Culiacan, and the commission also has two district offices in Ahome and Mazatlan (ibid. n.d.g).
Durango (pop. 1,448,661)
The CEDH Durango head office is based in the city of Durango and the organization also has three district bureaus in Gomez Palacio, Lerdo, and Pueblo Nuevo (ibid. n.d.h).
Nuevo Leon (pop. 3,834,141)
The CEDH Nuevo Leon is located in Monterrey and does not have bureaus in other districts of that state (ibid. n.d.i).
Zacatecas (pop. 1,353,610)
With its head office based in the city of Zacatecas, the CEDH Zacatecas also has six district bureaus in Concepcion del Oro, Fresnillo, Jalpa, Loreto, Rio Grande, and Tlaltenango de Zanchez Roman (ibid. n.d.j).
Tamaulipas (pop. 2,753,222)
The state of Tamaulipas features both CNDH and CEDH offices (ibid. n.d.k). The CNDH Tamaulipas is located in Reynosa and is involved in affairs related to the northern border region of the country (ibid. n.d.l).
The head CEDH office is located in Ciudad Victoria and has seven district offices in Tampico, Reynosa, Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, San Fernando, Ciudad Mante and Tula (ibid. n.d.m).
Nayarit (pop. 920,185)
The Nayarit State Commission for the Defence for Human Rights (Comision de Defensa de los Derechos Humanos del Estado de Nayarit) is located in Tepic and does not have bureaus in other districts of that state (ibid. n.d.n).
Aguascalientes (pop. 944,285)
The CEDH Aguascalientes is located in the city of Aguascalientes and does not have bureaus in other districts of that state (ibid. n.d.o).
San Luis Potosi (pop. 2,299,360)
The CEDH San Luis Potosi's head office is based in the city of San Luis Potosi and the organization also has two bureaus in Ciudad Valles and Matehuala (ibid. n.d.p).
Federal District (pop. 8,605,239)
The Federal District features the central CNDH headquarters and the CDHDF (CNDH n.d.q). In addition to addressing federal-level complaints against public servants and serving as a final avenue of appeal for unconventional cases (inconformidades) emanating from state-level human rights commissions, the CNDH is mandated, among other functions, to promote and expand human rights legislation, education, and preventive programs across the country (ibid. n.d.a). The head CNDH office is located in the Magdalena Contreras district (delegacion), with other bureaus located in the districts of Alvaro Obregon and Benito Juarez (ibid. n.d.r).
The CDHDF is located in the Cuauhtemoc district and addresses local issues pertaining to the Federal District (ibid. n.d.s).
Jalisco (pop. 6,322,002)
With a head office based in the city of Guadalajara, the CEDH Jalisco also has five district bureaus in Autlan de Navarro, Colotlan, Lagos de Moreno, Puerto Vallarta and Zapotlan el Grande (ibid. n.d.t).
Guanajuato (pop. 4,663,032)
While the head office of the Guanajuato State Human Rights Attorney (Procuraduria de los Derechos Humanos del Estado de Guanajuato) is based in Leon, three district bureaus can also be found in San Miguel de Allende, Irapuato and Celaya (ibid. n.d.u).
Queretaro (pop. 1,404,306)
The CEDH Queretaro has its head office in the city of Queretaro and also has a district bureau in Jalpan de Serra (ibid. n.d.v).
Hidalgo (pop. 2,235,591)
The head office of CEDH Hidalgo is located in the city of Pachuca (ibid. n.d.w). Three other district bureaus are situated in Tenango de Doria, Huejutla de Reyes and Zimapan (ibid.).
Colima (pop. 542,627)
The CEDH Colima is located in the city of Colima and does not have district bureaus in other areas of that state (ibid. n.d.x).
Michoacan (pop. 3,985,667)
The CEDH Michoacan is located in Morelia and does not have district bureaus in other areas of that state (ibid. n.d.y).
Mexico state (pop. 13,096,686)
With a head office based in the city of Toluca, the CEDH Mexico state also has five district bureaus in Naucalpan de Juarez, Nezahualcoyotl, Ecatepec, Tejupilco and San Felipe de Progreso (ibid. n.d.z).
Tlaxcala (pop. 962,646)
In addition to its head office in the city of Tlaxcala, the CEDH Tlaxcala has three district offices in Apizaco, Calpulalpan and Huamantla (ibid. n.d.a.a).
Morelos (pop. 1,555,296)
The head office of the CEDH Morelos is located in the city of Cuernavaca (ibid. n.d.b.b). Three district bureaus are also situated in Cuautla, Mazatepec and Jojutla (ibid.).
Puebla (pop. 5,076,686)
The CEDH Puebla is located in the city of Puebla and has one district bureau in Cuetzalan del Progreso (ibid. n.d.c.c).
Guerrero (pop. 3,079,649)
With a head office based in the city of Chilpancingo de los Bravo, the CEDH Guerrero also has six district bureaus in Acapulco de Juarez, Iguala de la Independencia, Ometepec, Pungarabato, Tecpan de Galeana and Tlapa de Comonfort (ibid. n.d.d.d).
Veracruz (pop. 6,908,975)
In addition to its head office in the city of Xalapa, the CEDH Veracruz has nine district offices in Acayucan, Chicontepec, Papantla, Zongolica, Coatzacoalacos, Cordoba, Panuco, Tuxpan and Veracruz (ibid. n.d.e.e).
Tabasco (pop. 1,891,829)
The CEDH Tabasco has its head office in the city of Villahermosa and also has a bureau in Emiliano Zapata (ibid. n.d.f.f).
Campeche (pop. 690,689)
The CEDH Campeche is located in the city of Campeche and does not have district bureaus in other areas of that state (ibid. n.d.g.g).
Yucatan (pop. 1,658,210)
The CEDH Yucatan is located in Merida and does not have district bureaus in other areas of that state (ibid. n.d.h.h).
Quintana Roo (pop. 874,963)
With a head office based in the Chetumal, the CEDH Quintana Roo also has five bureaus in Cozumel, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Jose Maria Morelos, Lazaro Cardenas and Cancun (ibid. n.d.i.i).
Oaxaca (pop. 3,438,765)
In addition to its head office in Oaxaca de Juarez, the CEDH Oaxaca has seven district offices in Huajuapan de Leon, Juchitan de Zaragoza, San Agustin Loxicha, San Juan Bautista Cuicatlan, San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec, San Pedro Mixtepec Joquila and Santo Domingo Tehuantepec (ibid. n.d.j.j).
Chiapas (pop. 3,920,892)
Chiapas has both CNDH and CEDH offices (ibid. n.d.k.k). The CNDH office in San Cristobal de las Casas offers services to citizens living in the highland and jungle areas of the state while the CNDH bureau in Tapachula provides assistance to migrants (ibid. n.d.l.l).
The CEDH Chiapas maintains its head office in Tuxtla Gutierrez and also has eight regional bureaus in Comitan de Dominguez, Motozintla de Mendoza, Palenque, Pichucalco, Tonala, Ocosingo, San Cristobal de las Casas and Tapachula (ibid. n.d.m.m).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection.
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____. n.d.t. "Jalisco." <http://www.cndh.org.mx/Principal/document/provictima/jalisco/ jalisco_CEDH.htm> [Accessed 8 Nov. 2004]
____. n.d.u. "Guanajuato." <http://www.cndh.org.mx/Principal/document/provictima/guanajuato/ guanajuato_PDHE.htm> [Accessed 8 Nov. 2004]
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