VII - Collaboration
For Mexico to make real progress in strengthening human rights protections, it is critical to promote active collaboration among the diverse array of actors who can contribute to the process. In addition to the CNDH, these actors include local NGOs, state human rights commissions, and international organizations, as well as victims of abuse themselves. Rather than promoting collaboration with all these actors, the CNDH too often has resisted it, thereby helping to generate a corrosive atmosphere of distrust and antagonism that is counterproductive for human rights advocacy in Mexico.
Perhaps the most problematic practice in this regard has been the commissions failure to engage with some victims that turn to it for help. This failure is particularly evident when the CNDH resolves petitions through conciliation agreements, as it does in almost 90 percent of the cases in which it documents abuses. As the last chapter made clear, the CNDH routinely signs these agreements directly with government authorities, committing itself to a pact of silence. It does so without consulting with or seeking the consent of the petitioners. In other words, abuse victims often have no say in their so-called conciliation.
The CNDH has also failed to engage constructively with other key human rights advocates in Mexico, actively opposing important collaborative projects aimed at strengthening human rights protections.
Under international human rights law, victims of human rights violations have a right to participate in the proceedings designed to remedy those violations. Yet the CNDH has a policy of not involving human rights victims in the conciliation of their own cases.
While the CNDHs old rules of procedure required that the victim be heard and informed of the progress of the conciliation process until it concludes, since 2003 the CNDH rules only require that the CNDH inform the victim of the existence of a conciliation proposal and then try to keep the victim informed of how the procedure advances until its final conclusion [italics added].314 CNDH officials insist that, under these new rules, they have no obligation to consult with petitioners prior to signing conciliation agreements or to seek their consent before signing them.315
In 2003, for example, the CNDH conciliated the case of Jaime Alves de Paula, who had filed a complaint with the CNDH claiming that immigration officials in the Cancun airport had psychologically abused him, denied him access to a lawyer and translator, and coerced him into signing a document that was later used against him. The CNDH concluded that the National Institute of Migration (Instituto Nacional de Migracion, INM) had violated Alves due process rights and sent the INM a conciliation proposal on September 26, 2003. The agreement stipulated that the INM would initiate an administrative investigation and order all its employees to inform foreigners about their right to consular assistance.316 On that same date, the CNDH sent a copy of the proposal to Alves. The CNDH received notice from the INM that it was accepting the proposal on October 7, 2003, and only informed the petitioner two weeks later that his case had concluded through conciliation.317
The CNDH also sought a conciliation agreement with the INM in the case of Ines O., a woman who alleged an immigration official had told her he would allow her to go if she had sexual intercourse with him. Before sending the conciliation agreement proposal to the INM on November 25, 2003, the CNDH informed Ines O. via telegram that her case would be subject to conciliation. The proposal stipulated that the INM would initiate an administrative investigation and instruct whomever is concerned that at least two INM officials should be present when transporting detained individuals.318
An example of the CNDH not including the petitioners specific claims in the agreement involves the case of two Chilean tourists who were arbitrarily deported from Mexico in December 2005.319 The CNDH proposed that the INM reimburse the deported tourists their travel expenses, send the case to an administrative review, and issue and apply clear and objective criteria to accept or reject a tourists entrance to Mexico. On November 10, 2006, the CNDH sent the conciliation agreement to Sin Fronteras, the NGO representing the two deported Chileans, as well as to the INM, giving the latter 15 days to respond.320 Two days later, Sin Fronteras requested that the CNDH include in the conciliation agreement that the government authority must recognize that it had also violated other rights, such as the right to have access to consular assistance.321 These considerations were never included in the text, and on November 30, 2006, the CNDH informed Sin Fronteras that the case had concluded through conciliation.322
The CNDH has even insisted on signing conciliation agreements after petitioners explicitly say they do not want to conciliate because the problem is recurrent in Mexico, and they want the CNDH to address the broader issue.323 Abel M. contacted the CNDH on March 30, 2006, arguing that as a consequence of lack of medicines in public hospitals,324 he had to interrupt his HIV treatment,making it more likely he would become resistant to the life-saving medication. The CNDH closed the case on April 28, 2006, after the hospital told Abel M. that the specific drug he needed was then available for him.325 In August 2006, a community-based organization submitted 41 new cases to the CNDHincluding one from Abel M.showing that the same hospital was not providing 10 types of medicines.326 The petitioners representative told Human Rights Watch that he informed the CNDH that the petitioners did not want to sign a conciliation agreement, but a CNDH official told him Im not asking for your opinion; Im calling to let you know how it will be.327 Even though the hospital continued to limit the provision of medicines, the CNDH waited over a year to issue a public recomendacion on the case.328
The policy of excluding victims from the conciliation process reflects the CNDHs current position that that conciliations are an act of authority carried out by the CNDH. The CNDH president told Human Rights Watch that victims are informed of the agreements and usually agree with them but, should they disagree, they can always use the courts.329 According to press accounts, his view is that the institution should serve as a mediator.330
This view represents a departure from past CNDH policy. One former CNDH president told Human Rights Watch that the ombudsmans role is not that of a mediator because violations [in Mexico] are so extraordinarily serious that the first function of an ombudsman is to protect human rights.331 Another insisted that the CNDH was intended to represent the victim, not mediate with the victimizer.332 A third similarly said that the ombudsmans principal role was to protect the interests of the victim.333
Indeed, in one of its first publications, the CNDH stated that conciliation agreements could only be used to close cases when, in an absolutely voluntary fashion, the petitioner and the government authority express their will to resolve the problem through the proposed manner.334 The CNDHs old rules of procedure required that the victim be heard and informed of the progress of the conciliation process until it concludes.335
The CNDHs current policy may be consistent with its modified rules, but it directly contradicts the international principle that victims of abuse should participate in the proceedings designed to remedy the violations they have suffered. As we saw in chapter III, this principle is applicable to non-judicial proceedings, such as those carried out by the CNDH. It is also reflected in the practices of other international and national human rights mechanisms. For example, the Inter American Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights, and the International Criminal Court allow victims to participate in their proceedings.336 Similarly the national human rights commissions of Canada, Costa Rica, and South Africa all guarantee that petitioners have an opportunity to participate in the proceedings for resolving their cases.337
Even if the current rules do not mandate consultation with the victims, neither do they preclude it. Indeed, in one of the five main investigative units, consultation with victims is considered part of the conciliation process.338 Officials in the Second Investigative Unit told Human Rights Watch that in the cases they handle, the petitioner has access to the conciliation agreement prior to its signature because it is the petitioner who has to be satisfied, and that as long as his or her position is legally viable, the petitioner has the last word. Unlike officials in other units, these officials said that, when pursuing a conciliation agreement, they consider themselves acting as representatives of the victims.339
An important function of the CNDH, as mandated by its rules of procedure, is to promote cooperation on human rights with international organizations.340 Yet, the CNDH refused to participate in one of the most important and ambitious collaborative efforts of the past decade, the elaboration of a comprehensive prognosis of Mexicos human rights problems in conjunction with the Fox administration, members of civil society, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR).341
CNDH officials justified the refusal to join this collaborative effort on the grounds that the government had excluded the CNDH when it negotiated the project with the UNHCHR in 2002, and again when the government and UNHCHR selected experts to perform the diagnosis.342 As a result, according to the CNDH president, the collaboration had a problem of democratic legitimacy.343 According to two of the four principal experts, however, the CNDH was involved in their appointment, and delayed it for approximately two months, decreasing the amount of time they had to prepare the report.344
The CNDH also decided not to participate in the National Human Rights Program (Programa Nacional de Derechos Humanos, PNDH) that derived from the national diagnosis carried out by the UNHCHR.345
The CNDH participated in the meetings that led to the creation of the PNDH, but it did not do so actively.346 Later on, the CNDH openly opposed the PNDH. The CNDH president told Human Rights Watch that the PNDH had no legal basis because [in Mexico] there is a law that establishes how national plans must be carried out, and it was not followed in this case.347 Another CNDH official explained that the CNDH eventually decided not to participate in the PNDH because this program was not included in the National Development Plan (Plan Nacional de Desarrollo), which each administration must present at the beginning of its six-year term (the PNDH was announced one-and-a-half years before the end of the Fox administrations time in office).348
The CNDHs justification implies that if an administration does not decide, within six months of entering office, that it will carry out a specific program, the proposal must wait five-and-a-half years, until the next president takes office. This is an insupportable postion. While the Mexican Constitution and the Federal Planning Law establish parameters for each administration to present its government plan within six months of taking office,349 this obviously does not mean that the government cannot present new proposals or implement new public policies ae, within six months of entering office, that it will carry out a specific program, the proposal must wait five-and-a-half years, until the next president takes office. This is an insupportable postion. While the Mexican Constitution and the Federal Planning Law establish parameters for each administration to present its government plan within six months of taking office,349 this obviously does not mean that the government cannot present new proposals or implement new public policies after those initial six months.
The CNDH collaborates with some state commissions to assist them, for example, in building their own websites and creating computerized systems to enter information about their cases. The CNDH has also carried out joint capacity building activities with some state commissions.350
However, in 2003, the commission opposed an international cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening the ombudsman system in Mexico. The Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen (Federacion Mexicana de Organismos Publicos de Derechos Humanos), an organization that includes the CNDH and all 32 state commissions in the country, negotiated an agreement whereby the European Union (EU) would provide 640,000 and the MacArthur Foundation would provide US$ 260,000 for strengthening the national system of human rights commissions. The federations president signed the cooperation agreement with the EU in April 2003, after 16 state commissions and the CNDH approved its signature.351 The following month, members of the federation agreed to organize an extraordinary meeting to begin planning specific activities related to the project, and to approve signing a cooperation agreement with the MacArthur Foundation.352
But then in July 2003, the CNDH and 18 state commissions decided to cancel the agreement.353 The rationale they provided for rescinding the contract was that they had not known the content and scope of the agreement at the time the federations president signed it, and they believed it contradicted the law and regulations governing the CNDH, state commissions, and the federation.354 But 11 of them had already authorized the president to sign the agreement in a previous meeting of the federation, nine had attended the official ceremony to sign the agreement in May 2003, and Human Rights Watch obtained documentation showing that the CNDH participated in email discussions and meetings about the project prior to its signature.355
The CNDH president told Human Rights Watch that in supporting withdrawal from the cooperation agreement, the commission was following the lead of a majority of state commissions.356 There is some evidence, however, that the CNDH played a more active role, providing elements for the discussion that led to the rejection of the agreement. During the extraordinary meeting in which the project was supposed to be initiated, the CNDH presented a document prepared by a private accounting firm, which was then used as the basis for a discussion of whether the project should continue.357 A former ombudsman told Human Rights Watch that CNDH staff told him it was better for the CNDHrather than the federationto be in charge of a project like this one, and that it would find the resources to do so.358
According to the CNDH executive secretary, the CNDH and other state commissions opposed the fact that the secretariat created to administer the project, headed by the Mexico City Human Rights Commission, was going to receive far more funds than the state commissions would.359 But the leadership of the Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen claims it had designated an operational teamcomposed of six full-time, independent professionals selected through an open processto use the funds to carry out activities planned in the cooperation agreement, which would benefit all state commissions.360
The cancellation of the project deprived the ombudsman system with funding that could have helped to strengthen its work. While the CNDHs 2007 budget was approximately US$73 million, many state commissions still struggle to obtain the funds to cover their everyday operations.361 This cooperation agreement would have helped commissions with activities they usually are unable to fund, such as capacity building for their own personnel, expert seminars, and more frequent meetings to discuss strategies to improve their work.362
314 CNDH, Rules of Procedure, art. 122. CNDH old rules of procedure, arts. 117 and 120.
315 Human Rights Watch interview with Andres Aguilar Calero, third visitador, Mexico City, March 16, 2007; Human Rights Watch interview with Mauricio Farah Gebara, fifth visitador, and staff from the fifth visitaduria, Mexico City, March 20, 2007; Human Rights Watch interview with Raul Plascencia Villanueva, first visitador, and staff from the first visitaduria, Mexico City, March 21, 2007; Human Rights Watch interview with staff from the fourth visitaduria, Mexico City, March 22, 2007; Human Rights Watch interview with Susana Thalia Pedroza de la Llave, second visidatora and staff from the second visitaduria, Mexico City, March 22, 2007.
316 The CNDH received the complaint on March 31, 2003 and opened the file 2003/1231-1. Documentation on file with Human Rights Watch. CNDH document 020212 from file 2003/1231-1, September 26, 2003.
317 CNDH document 022350 from file 2003/1231-1, October 22, 2003.
318 CNDH document 024710 from file 2003/2028-1, November 25, 2003.
319 They filed a claim with the CNDH, arguing that they were denied entrance to Mexico on arbitrary grounds, were detained for approximately six hours without being able to call their families or Consulate, and that they were mistreated during that time.
320 Human Rights Watch interview with Sin Fronteras staff, Mexico City, January 30, 2007. CNDH conciliation agreement proposal, November 10, 2006. (Names of the petitioners, as well as the document and file numbers are withheld to protect the petitioners privacy).
321 Letter from Sin Fronteras to the fifth visitador, received by the CNDH on November 22, 2006. (Additional information, such as names and file number, is crossed out in original documents).
322 Letter from the fifth visitador to Sin Fronteras, November 30, 2006. (Additional information, such as names and file number, is crossed out in original documents).
323 The case is about the lack of provision of medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS. In 2003 the CNDH issued a recomendacion recognizing that the lack of provision of medicines by public institutions is a recurrent problem in the Mexican Institute for Social Security (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, IMSS). CNDH, Recomendacion 4/2003, February 10, 2003. In 2007, it issued another recomendacion in the case of EGZ, arguing that the lack of provision of medicines to a person living with HIV violated his right to health. CNDH, Recomendacion 10/2007, May 10, 2007.
CNDH staff have recognized that this is a recurrent problem in Mexico. Human Rights Watch interview with Raul Plascencia Villanueva, first visitador, and staff from the first visitaduria, Mexico City, March 21, 2007.
324 The case is about the General Hospital of Zone 53 (Hospital General de Zona 53) of the IMSS, located at Los Reyes la Paz, State of Mexico. Letter from Abel M. to Jose Luis Soberanes, March 30, 2006. (Real name is withheld to protect the petitioners privacy).
325 The CNDH told Abel M. that if the IMSS did not provide him his medicines in the future, he should file another case with the CNDH. CNDH document 13716 from file 2006/1558/1/Q, April 28, 2006.
326 Between August 24 and September 18, 2006, the Support Group of People United Against AIDS (Grupo de Apoyo de Personas Enlazadas contra el SIDA, GAPES), submitted all the cases. The CNDH grouped all of the cases in one same file number. CNDH document 28689 from file 2006/4141, September 5, 2006.
327 Human Rights Watch interview with Miguel A. Garcia Murcia, coordinator, GAPES, Mexico City, March 12, 2007.
328 Given that the hospital did not provide five patients with five types of medicinestwo of which were mentioned in the previous 41 casesthe petitioners representative presented new cases before the CNDH, which grouped them under yet another file number. CNDH document 039256 from file 2006/5358, December 15, 2006. Human Rights Watch interview with Miguel A. Garcia Murcia, coordinator, GAPES, Mexico City, March 12, 2007.
In September 2007, the CNDH issued a recomendacion to the IMSS, requesting it to provide medicines to the petitioners, to adopt measures to avoid not having such medicines in stock, to carry out training of its staff, and to instruct its internal control office to carry out administrative investigations. CNDH, Recomendacion 41/2007, September 26, 2007.
Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Miguel A. Garcia Murcia, coordinator, GAPES, Mexico City, November 21, 2007.
329 Human Rights Watch interview with Jose Luis Soberanes, CNDH president, Mexico City, March 21, 2007.
330 Soberanes acknowledged the passions raised would probably be one of the greatest challenges to the CNDH, as it tries to navigate between the extreme views and establish itself as a mediator between the opposing parties. Michael Christie, Mexico rights ombudsman walks tightrope, Reuters News, November 24, 1999. La Comision tiene el papel fundamental de servir de intermediaria, de buscar la conciliacion, mas que de emitir muchas recomendaciones, dijo Soberanes Fernandez. [The Commission has the fundamental role of serving as an intermediary, of looking for conciliations, rather than issuing many recomendaciones, said Soberanes Fernandez.]. CNDH Presidente [CNDH President], Servicio Universal de Noticias, November 12, 1999.
331 Human Rights Watch interview with Jorge Carpizo, CNDH president between June 1990 and January 1993, Mexico City, January 29, 2007.
332 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Jorge Madrazo, CNDH president between January 1993 and November 1996, Seattle, February 16, 2007.
333 Human Rights Watch interview with Mireille Roccatti, CNDH president between January 1997 and November 1999, Mexico City, January 25, 2007.
334 CNDH Gaceta [CNDH Gazette], 91/11, June 15, 1991, p.16.
335 CNDH old Rules of Procedure, arts. 117 and 120.
336 Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, art. 23. Rules of the European Court of Human Rights, rules 35 and 36. Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), A/CONF.183/9, July 17, 1998, entered into force July 1, 2002, art. 68.
337 In Canada, by instituting a formal response process, both the petitioner and the government authority are able to actively participate in the investigation and keep apprised of developments in the investigation. Canadian Human Rights Commission, Overview, Complaints, undated, http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/complaints/default-en.asp (accessed November 19, 2007).
The South African system ensures that parties are active in the investigation by providing updates as to the status of the case; there is formal appeals process that guarantees that complaints are not summarily dismissed; and there is a public hearing process that provides a public record of the investigation. See generally, South African Human Rights Commission Complaint Handling Manual, May 5, 2006, http://www.sahrc.org.za/sahrc_cms/downloads/Complaints%20Handling%20Manual.doc (accessed November 19, 2007).
In Costa Rica, attorneys are constantly in contact with the petitioners, interview them if further information is necessary, provide information to petitioners when they ask for an update regarding their cases, and send copies to petitioners of requests formulated to the government authority that is accused of committing a human rights violation. Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Ingrid Berrocal, admissibility staff member of the Defensoria de los Habitantes de la Republica de Costa Rica (Ombudsmans Office of the Republic of Costa Rica), San Jose, June 13, 2007.
338 As explained in chapter II of this report, each investigative unit is called a visitaduria.
339 Human Rights Watch interview with Susana Thalia Pedroza de la Llave, second visitadora, and staff from the second visitaduria, Mexico City, March 22, 2007.
340 According to Article 72 of the CNDH rules of procedure, ( ) The Executive Secretariat ( ) will follow-up, promote the cooperation and collaborate with multinational and regional international organizations dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights ( ). And according to the Paris Principles national human rights institutions must cooperate with the United Nations and any other organization in the United Nations system, the regional institutions and the national institutions of other countries that are competent in the areas of the protection and promotion of human rights. Paris Principles, Composition and guarantee of independence and pluralism, principle 3 (e).
341 Former President Vicente Fox signed the first cooperation agreement with the UNHCHR on the day after he took office. As a consequence of this agreement, the UNHCHR established an office in Mexico City, with the purpose of assessing the structural deficiencies that impeded the full realization of human rights in Mexico, and determining what reforms were necessary to promote change. During the first phase of this project, the UNHCHR focused on capacity building of public officials and civil society members on the issue of how to combat torture. In April 2002, the Fox administration signed a second agreement with the UNHCHR so that its office in Mexico would work with a team of Mexican experts to produce the national diagnosis.
342 Human Rights Watch interview with Jose Luis Soberanes, CNDH president, Mexico City, March 21, 2007. Human Rights Watch interview with Javier Moctezuma, executive secretary of the CNDH, Mexico City, March 16, 2007.
343 Human Rights Watch interview with Jose Luis Soberanes, CNDH president, Mexico City, March 21, 2007.
344 Human Rights Watch interview with an expert who requested anonymity, Mexico City, September 21, 2006. Human Rights Watch email communication with another expert who requested anonymity, December 12, 2007.
345 The diagnosis, which was concluded in 2003, provided a comprehensive assessment of the human rights situation in Mexico and a detailed series of recommendations that would serve as the basis for a national human rights program, which was published in December 2004. The purpose of the PNDH was to establish the basis of a government public policy on human rights. As a result of the PNDH, each federal government agency created its own liaison office to implement the PNDH. National Human Rights Program [Programa Nacional de Derechos Humanos], p. 22; Human Rights Watch interview with Darío Ramírez and Alexandra Haas, Interior Ministry, Mexico City, November 18, 2005.
346 Human Rights Watch telephone interview with Ricardo Sepulveda, Mexico City, October 16, 2006. Sepulveda was the director of the Unit for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights within the Interior Ministry when the PNDH was carried out.
347 Human Rights Watch interview with Jose Luis Soberanes, CNDH president, Mexico City, March 21, 2007.
348 Human Rights Watch interview with Javier Moctezuma, executive secretary of the CNDH, Mexico City, March 16, 2007.
349 Mexican Constitution, art. 26; Federal Planning Law, art. 21.
350 Human Rights Watch interview with Francisco Illanes Solis, general director of information technology of the CNDH, Mexico City, March 16, 2007; Human Rights Watch interview with Jesus Naime, Technical Secretary of the CNDH, Mexico City, March 20, 2007.
351 After the federations leadership submitted a preliminary proposal to the EU, which was pre-selected by the EUs selection committee in October 2002, every member of the federation received via email all documents related to the project. Comision de Derechos Humanos del Distrito Federal [Mexico City Human Rights Commission], Historia del Proyecto Fortalecimiento Institucional de los Organismos Publicos de Derechos Humanos en Mexico [History of the Project Institutional Strengthening of Public Human Rights Institutions in Mexico], January 2007.
In the federations meeting in Manzanillo, which took place in November 2002, seventeen members, including the CNDH, agreed that the cooperation agreement had to be signed. No one voted against the project and only two state commissions abstained from voting. Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen, Acuerdos tomados en la asamblea ordinaria celebrada dentro del XIX Congreso de la Federación de organismos publicos de derechos humanos. Manzanillo, Colima, 7 y 8 de noviembre de 2002 [Decisions adopted in the ordinary meeting of the XIX Congreso of the Federation of Public Human Rights Institutions, Manzanillo, Colima, November 7 and 8, 2002], undated, section 8; Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen, Asamblea ordinaria celebrada dentro del XIX Congreso de la Federacion de Organismos Publicos de Derechos Humanos. Manzanillo, Colima, 7 y 8 de noviembre de 2002 [Ordinary meeting held during the XIX Congress of the Federation of Public Human Rights Institutions. Manzanillo, Colima, November 7 and 8, 2002], November 8, 2002.
Given that under the federations statutes its president may sign such agreements, Juan Alarcon Hernandez signed the cooperation agreement with the EU. Contrato de subvencion Ayudas exteriores. B7-701/2002/3023 [Subvention contract - Foreign Assistance. B7-701/2002/3023], signed by Juan Alarcon Hernandez from the Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen, and Richard Granville from the European Union. See also Estatutos aprobados en la tercera asamblea plenaria extraordinaria de la Federacion Mexicana de Organismos Publicos de Proteccion y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos celebrada en la ciudad de Pachuca, Hgo, el 22 de febrero de 2002 [Statutes approved during the third extraordinary plenary meeting of the Mexican Federation of Public Institutions for the Protection and Defense of Human Rights, conducted in the City of Pachuca, Hidalgo, February 22, 2002], undated, art. 11, VIII.
352 Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen, Acuerdos tomados en la asamblea ordinara celebrada dentro del XX Congreso de la Federación de Organismos Publicos de Derechos Humanos. Cozumel, Quintana Roo, 22 y 23 de mayo del 2003 [Decisions adopted in the ordinary meeting celebrated within the XX Congress of the Federation of Public Human Rights Institutions. Cozumel, Quintana Roo, May 22 and 23, 2003], undated, section 4.
353 Letter from representatives of the state human rights commissions of Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Durango, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico state, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatan, and the CNDH to the General Assembly and Directive Committee of the Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen, July 1, 2003.
355 The state commissions that signed the letter and had previously authorized the signature of the agreement are Aguascalientes, Durango, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico state, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Tlaxcala, Yucatan and the CNDH. Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen, Acuerdos tomados en la asamblea ordinaria celebrada dentro del XIX Congreso de la Federación de organismos publicos de derechos humanos. Manzanillo, Colima, 7 y 8 de noviembre de 2002 [Decisions adopted in the ordinary meeting of the XIX Congreso of the Federation of Public Human Rights Institutions, Manzanillo, Colima, November 7 and 8, 2002], undated.
The state commissions that participated in the ceremony are Aguascalientes, Campeche, Mexico state, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, and Yucatan. Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen, Ceremonia de firma del convenio entre la FMOPDH y la Comision Europea para el proyecto Fortalecimiento de Organismos Publicos de Derechos Humanos [Ceremony for the signatura of the agreement between the Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen and the European Commission for the project Strengthening Public Human Rights Institutions], undated.
Email correspondence between Mauricio Ibarra, general director of the presidency of the CNDH at that time, and Gabriela Aspuru, coordinator of investigation and institutional development of the Mexico City human rights commission, September 25, 2002. Mexican Federation of Ombudsman, Minuta de la Reunion del Comite Directivo de la FMOPDH celebrada en la Ciudad de Mexico, 10 de abril 2003 [Minutes from the Directors Meeting of the Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen celebrated in Mexico City, April 10, 2003], April 10, 2003.
356 Human Rights Watch interview with Jose Luis Soberanes, CNDH president, Mexico City, March 21, 2007.
357 Letter from Horacio Rocha Salas, from Rocha, Perez San Martin, S.C, to the CNDH, June 27, 2003.
358 Human Rights Watch interview with Pedro Raul Lopez, Mexico City, March 14, 2007. See also: Blanche Petrich, La CNDH revento plan para fortalecer comisiones estatales [The CNDH destroyed plan to strengthen state commissions], La Jornada, September 1, 2003.
359 Human Rights Watch interview with Javier Moctezuma, executive secretary of the CNDH, Mexico City, March 16, 2007.
360 Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen, Minuta de la Reunion del Comite Directivo de la FMOPDH celebrada en la Ciudad de Mexico, DF, 10 de abril de 2003 [Minutes of the Meeting by the Directors Committee of the Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen, held in Mexico City on April 10, 2003], April 10, 2003. Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen, Reunion del Comite Directivo de la FMOPDH [Meeting of the Directors Committee of the Mexican Federation of Ombudsmen], June 13, 2003. Human Rights Watch interview with Emilio Alvarez Icaza, Mexico City, president of the Mexico City Human Rights Commission, March 22, 2007.
361 The executive secretary of the Jalisco state human rights commission, for example, told Human Rights Watch that the Commission has an annual budget of 50 million pesos (approximately US$4,5 million), but needs 10 million more pesos (approximately US$900.000) to do its work. Human Rights Watch interview with Eduardo Sosa, executive secretary of the Jalisco State Human Rights Commission, Guadalajara, February 1, 2007.
362 Two years later, seven state commissions decided they would try to secure this much needed support on their own. Without going through the federation, these commissions implemented a similar project for 500,000also financed by the EUthat allowed them to carry out precisely those types of activities.
The seven commissions that signed the agreement were Mexico City, Chiapas, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Guanajuto and Queretaro (Chiapas did not participate during the entire project). During two years, the commissions carried out nine seminars or workshops, and one training course for 150 people from state commissions, government offices, and civil society; visited each others offices; conducted one strategizing meeting; created a website; and published books and capacity building materials. Program of Institutional Strengthening of Ombudsmen, Informe descriptivo final B7-701/2003/3066 (CRIS No. 76-984), enero 2004-marzo2006 [Final descriptive report], March 2006.