Mexico Overview

Despite constitutional guarantees and positive revisions to some laws, many parts of Mexico remain inhospitable to civic activism. This is caused by high rates of violent crime linked to drug trafficking; the infiltration of local governments by increasingly diversified organised crime operations; pervasive corruption; and severe human rights violations – including torture, mass extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances – by both state and non-state actors. Of particular concern are situations of almost complete impunity for perpetrators of violent attacks on people in some remote municipalities, which are rarely if ever covered in the international media. The space for free expression has shrunk as intimidation, threats and physical violence – including murder – have engendered self-censorship across swathes of Mexico’s media and citizenry. Security forces sometimes respond with excessive force during peaceful protests, including recent ones by the national teachers’ union.