United States - Mexico Bilateral Human Rights Dialogue Joint Statement

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 21, 2015

The United States and Mexico held the 7th round of the Bilateral Dialogue on Human Rights in Washington, D.C., today. As strong bilateral partners and close neighbors, Mexico and the United States value their ability to engage in a frank and constructive dialogue on issues that are key priorities for both governments. The dialogue this year underscored the close ties between our nations and stalwart commitment to work together to protect and promote human rights.

The meeting covered a wide range of bilateral human rights issues, including developments and strategies in the field of human rights as well as remaining issues on both sides. Recent progress in Mexico was acknowledged, including Mexico’s recent agreement with the Group of Experts on next steps for the Iguala case. Specific topics addressed included actions to prevent torture and database management on disappearances and missing persons, human rights of migrants and those pertaining to vulnerable migrant groups, law enforcement and police practices particularly towards minorities, death penalty and consular notification, cooperation in multilateral fora and increased accountability. In addition, each delegation presented views on freedom of expression and actions to protect journalists and human rights defenders, noting the importance of working with civil society to address human rights concerns. Finally, the delegations discussed the value of improved cooperation at their shared border to reduce incidences of violence.

The United States and Mexico discussed multilateral cooperation, including our collaborative efforts within the United Nations Human Rights Council, the UN General Assembly, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the Organization of American States and the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Mexico’s hosting of the OGP Summit next week is evidence of Mexico’s leadership in advancing international and regional cooperation under the OGP. In discussions on cooperation in multilateral fora, both sides agreed that sustained engagement and collaboration will strengthen common positions in support of international standards on human rights.

The Mexican delegation was headed by Miguel Ruiz Cabañas, Under Secretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE)Roberto Campa, Under Secretary for Human Rights at the Interior Ministry (SEGOB); and Eber Omar Betanzos, Deputy Attorney-General for Human Rights (PGR) with additional representatives from the Ministries of National Defense (SEDENA) and Navy (SEMAR). The U.S. delegation was headed by Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Rights and Labor; it also included representatives from the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.