Calderón and Obama: A Lot More to Discuss Than Drugs

US President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon in the Rose Garden last May. (TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Today President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón will meet at the White House.

While there are many issues to discuss, including the latest round of WikiLeaks documents regarding Mexico, violence on the border, and the ICE agents just murdered, we hope human rights makes it to the top of the agenda because they are integral to all issues of concern to both countries.

Amnesty USA Executive Director Larry Cox wrote an open letter yesterday to President Obama highlighting Amnesty International’s concerns and recommendations for Mexico, including concerns about the ongoing impunity given to perpetrators of violence against women and President Calderón’s proposal to the Mexican Congress to reform the military code of justice.

Amnesty International is urging the US to work with Mexico to ensure that:

  • Effective measures are implemented to prevent and punish violence against women;
  • Comprehensive measures are passed to fully protect human rights defenders and irregular migrants; and
  • Legislation is passed in Mexico that would require military personnel implicated in human rights violations to be held accountable by civilian courts.

President Calderon’s recent attempt to reform the military code of justice are not sufficient.  These reforms are inconsistent with international human rights standards, are not in line with recent binding judgments made by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and are not consistent with the Merida Initiative requirements. We don’t want to speculate about why the Calderón administration seems to be making such a half-hearted effort at improving human rights, but it’s clear that more needs to be done.

Members of the US Congress are also interested in placing human rights in Mexico at the top of the Obama administration’s agenda, as is evident by a Dear Colleague sent yesterday by Congresswoman Lee, Congressman Grijalva and 22 other Members to Secretary of State Clinton.

We certainly hope that President Obama and President Calderon decide to put human rights issues at the top of their priority list and we look forward to working with both administrations to ensure that human rights are enjoyed by all on both sides of the US-Mexico border.

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12 thoughts on “Calderón and Obama: A Lot More to Discuss Than Drugs

  1. Human rights most definitely should be the first of the agenda. As Gary Spence once said, "Man cannot grants rights, he can only take them away." We must work as hard as we can to obtain our natural given rights back for all, especially the abused!

  2. What's an "irregular migrant"? Is that a person that moves from one region, place, or country to another – who is constipated?
    Or do you mean ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT?

  3. Human rights most definitely should be the first of the agenda. As Gary Spence once said, “Man cannot grants rights, he can only take them away.” We must work as hard as we can to obtain our natural given rights back for all, especially the abused!

  4. What’s an “irregular migrant”? Is that a person that moves from one region, place, or country to another – who is constipated?
    Or do you mean ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT?

  5. Dear Brian ( if you are the same Brian ) …

    We met when you spoke for illegalizing the rights of a section of people.

    We meet again … as you speak again for illegalizing … not rights this time, but people .

    The issue before … the growing war on the middle class.

    The issue now … the growing war on the underclass.

    Neither of these classes of people harmed you.

    Yet you turn on them.

    Your "law" seems an instrument of exclusion.

    Excluding rights …. excluding people.

    First a people without rights … now rights without a people.

    Your idea of "america" …. a self – shuttering, self – shrinking state.

    Run on a scarcity mentality.

    Do you know of a natural line somewhere around you, where this corrosive implosion will halt magically, by itself ?

  6. Dear Brian ( if you are the same Brian ) …

    We met when you spoke for illegalizing the rights of a section of people.

    We meet again … as you speak again for illegalizing … not rights this time, but people .

    The issue before … the growing war on the middle class.

    The issue now … the growing war on the underclass.

    Neither of these classes of people harmed you.

    Yet you turn on them.

    Your “law” seems an instrument of exclusion.

    Excluding rights …. excluding people.

    First a people without rights … now rights without a people.

    Your idea of “america” …. a self – shuttering, self – shrinking state.

    Run on a scarcity mentality.

    Do you know of a natural line somewhere around you, where this corrosive implosion will halt magically, by itself ?

  7. I don't have a clue what you are talking about, and I don't think we ever met. Common name.

    Not turning on anyone. Infact support the bulleted efforts highlighted that Amnesty Intl "urges".

    Just seeking clarification when they say irregular migrant? Is that just PC (politcally correct) name for those living or entering the Country illegally? In other words ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT?

    Those that have hearburn with Georgia, Arizona or the rest of the States doing nothing more than trying to enforce EXISTING FEDERAL LAWS – I would suggest that battle is with the Federal Gov't. Either change the law or enforce what's in place. A Nation and its justice/law enforcement officials TO INCLUDE THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH should not choose which laws it likes and enforce them and which ones it doesn't and ignore them. Don't like an existing law? – go through the right procedures to change it. If you don't have the votes to change it? Tough rocks – that is how democracy works.

  8. The definition of an Irregular Migrant is as follows: ‘IRREGULAR MIGRANT’=‘Someone who owing to illegal entry or the expiry of his or
    her visa, lacks legal status in a transit or host country. The term applies to migrants who infringe a country’s admission rules and any other person not authorized to remain in the host country (also called clandestine/ illegal/ unauthorized migrant or migrant in an irregular situation.’ (Taken from :‘Glossary on Migration,’ International Migration
    Law Division, IOM, Geneva, 2004)

  9. I don’t have a clue what you are talking about, and I don’t think we ever met. Common name.

    Not turning on anyone. Infact support the bulleted efforts highlighted that Amnesty Intl “urges”.

    Just seeking clarification when they say irregular migrant? Is that just PC (politcally correct) name for those living or entering the Country illegally? In other words ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT?

    Those that have hearburn with Georgia, Arizona or the rest of the States doing nothing more than trying to enforce EXISTING FEDERAL LAWS – I would suggest that battle is with the Federal Gov’t. Either change the law or enforce what’s in place. A Nation and its justice/law enforcement officials TO INCLUDE THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH should not choose which laws it likes and enforce them and which ones it doesn’t and ignore them. Don’t like an existing law? – go through the right procedures to change it. If you don’t have the votes to change it? Tough rocks – that is how democracy works.

  10. The definition of an Irregular Migrant is as follows: ‘IRREGULAR MIGRANT’=‘Someone who owing to illegal entry or the expiry of his or
    her visa, lacks legal status in a transit or host country. The term applies to migrants who infringe a country’s admission rules and any other person not authorized to remain in the host country (also called clandestine/ illegal/ unauthorized migrant or migrant in an irregular situation.’ (Taken from :‘Glossary on Migration,’ International Migration
    Law Division, IOM, Geneva, 2004)

  11. Thank you Kathryn. I suspected the two terms are synonymous. The word irregular sounds much nicer.

  12. Thank you Kathryn. I suspected the two terms are synonymous. The word irregular sounds much nicer.