The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) today began an on-site visit to Mexico, to observe the human rights situation in that member state of the Organization of American States. The visit is being undertaken at the invitation of the Government of President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León.
Its first visit to Mexico, the IACHR has placed great importance on this mission. The Commission has conducted similar visits to almost all OAS member states since it was established.
The members of the Commission are: Dean Claudio Grossman (Chairman), Ambassador John S. Donaldson (First Vice Chairman), Carlos Ayala Corao (Second Vice Chairman), Dr. Oscar Luján Fappiano, Ambassador Alvaro Tirado Mejía, Dr. Jean Joseph Exumé and Professor Richard Goldman.
As independent experts, the seven members are elected to a four-year term on the Commission by the OAS General Assembly and represent all the member states of the Organization.
During this visit, the IACHR will receive technical support from Ambassador Jorge E. Taiana, the Commission's Executive Secretary, and from Assistant Executive Secretaries Domingo E. Acevedo and David Padilla, as well as attorneys Osvaldo Kreimer and Ibrahim García. Martha Keller and Tania Hernández will provide administrative support.
One of principal organs through which the Organization of American States carries out its functions, the IACHR's functions include promoting, observance and defense of human rights in the Hemisphere and serving as a consultative body in the field.
The Commission essentially derives its powers from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The latter instrument was ratified by Mexico on April 3, 1982.
The visit is being conducted under the provisions of the American Convention and in accordance with the rules governing the Commission's operations.
Under those rules, when governments issue an invitation for an onsite visit such as this one, they provide the Commission all the necessary facilities to undertake its mission.
During the visit, which ends on July 24, the IACHR will meet with the President and senior Federal Government officials, including the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, officials from the Judiciary, representatives of Congress, the National Human Rights Commission, officials from the Federal Electoral Tribunal and from the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, and Baja California, church officials, political leaders, media representatives, and nongovernmental human rights organizations.
As is the norm during such visits, while in Mexico, the Commission will take complaints from interested parties, directly or through their representatives, alleging that their human rights have been violated. It will also take any information from those with cases filed with the Commission. The Commission has set up an office at the Crowne Plaza Hotel for that purpose. It will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The IACHR will be working in Mexico City and in the states of Chiapas, Guerrero and Baja California where they will meet with state officials and community representatives.
The Commission has expressed appreciation to the Government of Mexico for the cooperation it received from federal and state government officials and from the representatives of nongovernmental organizations, personalities and institutions in the society in preparing for this visit.
In concluding its visit, the Commission will hold a press conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Mexico City on July 24, 1996, at 1:3 p.m.
Mexico City, July 15, 1996