WHAT'S NEW AT THE AMERICAS PROGRAM
April 11, 2003
New from the IRC's Americas Program:
Payoff Pending for Decades of Human Rights
Outcome of Mexican Dirty War Investigations Up
By Kent Paterson
Then-candidate Vicente Fox promised a truth commission to clear the
historical record of past human rights abuses ranging from the 1968
massacre of students in Mexico City's Tlatelolco Square to the 1995 Aguas
Blancas slaughter of peasants in Guerrero state. Once in office, what Fox
delivered was very different: a special prosecutor to investigate the
culprits of those and other crimes, plus a military tribunal to try two
Mexican generals on homicide charges.
Human rights advocates, who have been pushing for decades to get to the
bottom of the truth in these and other cases, voice a mixture of hope and
doubt on the possibilities of attaining justice with the Fox
administration's approach. Many groups still demand that the government
establish a truth commission like the one in South Africa. But without
sustained pressure from a united front, it's unlikely that the Fox
administration will shift its human rights policy from a special
prosecutor to a truth commission.
Kent Paterson is a freelance journalist based in Albuquerque and a
frequent contributor to the Americas Program.
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