Press briefing notes: Extension of Navi Pillay as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights / México - Killings

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Location: Geneva
Subject: Extension of Navi Pillay as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

“On Monday 14 May 2012 the UN Secretary-General formally proposed to the UN General Assembly that it extend the appointment of Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, for a two year period.

The Secretary-General is pleased that he was able to prevail on Ms. Pillay, subject to General Assembly approval, to stay on as High Commissioner for Human Rights for two more years.

The Secretary-General trusts the General Assembly will approve this extension.

The appointment of Navanethem Pillay as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was approved by the General Assembly on 28 July 2008. She took up the post on 1 September 2008.”

Subject: México - Killings

“We are shocked at the massacre of 49 persons whose bodies were found beheaded in a road near the city of Monterrey, Nuevo León in northern México last weekend. We condemn these horrific killings and the violence used against the victims, which included the severing of hands and lower limbs. The victims have not been identified yet. The authorities did not rule out the possibility that the victims could be migrants (72 migrants were murdered in the state of Tamaulipas in August 2010, and we have continued to hear of further attacks and killings of migrants). Investigations are ongoing. The authorities have attributed these killings to organized crime, possibly in relation to a continuing turf war between rival groups and drug-trafficking.

We call on the authorities to promptly conduct thorough and independent investigations into all killings, to bring perpetrators to justice, as well as to identify the victims and deliver the remains to their relatives. We urge federal and local state institutions to take all necessary measures to stop these killings and the widespread violence which thwarts the full enjoyment of human rights to thousands of people, including assessing the current security strategy. Such measures need to combat those crimes, but also they need to tackle what fuels crime, in particular impunity and corruption, but also exclusion and lack of viable livelihood opportunities for a large sector of the population.

In July 2011, when the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, visited México, she recognized that the Government is facing a tremendous challenge as it confronts the exceptionally violent and well-armed organized crime gangs and at the same time. She also called on the authorities to undertake all necessary steps to protect the life and integrity of all inhabitants of México in full respect of human rights and the rule of law.

According to official figures, violence generated by organised crime has claimed the lives of 47,515 people from December 2006 up to September 2011, and numbers continue to rise.”


For more information or media requests, please contact spokesperson Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 / or press officer Xabier Celaya (+ 41 22 917 9383 /

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:

Join us to speak up for human rights in Rio+20, use #RightsRio