Anyone who does work on, or pays attention to anything going on in Latin America would know that it is the season for meetings and hearings to be held at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in DC. I had never attended anything at the commission, well, until last week. I had no idea what to expect walking in, I just knew I was there as an AIUSA observer.
The building itself is really big, and nice. Spanish is one of the working languages of the Organization of American States, (OAS) along with English and Portuguese, but it may as well be THE working language. Everything was conducted in Spanish.
One of the hearings I was asked to observe at, was a public hearing including two cases regarding the human rights abuses committed by the Mexican military. AI has been following these cases closely, and they will most likely both be included in a report that AI will be releasing at the end of November addressing how flawed the military justice system in Mexico is, and how relatively easy it is for military personnel to get away with committing human rights violations.
I also met with the Muñoz Guzmán family; a family who has been fighting for justice in the case of Miguel Orlando Muñoz Guzmán for over 16 years. They have been working with our Mexico Country Specialist, along with a local AIUSA group, to try and hold those responsible, accountable for Miguel’s “disappearance” over 16 years ago. Stay tuned for more information about this case.
Well, now what can you do? Read about what’s going on in Mexico. Anything to raise people’s awareness of grave human rights situation in the country is good. Talk with your friends. Educate them. The more people that are watching, the easier it is to shine the light on injustice, anywhere.