Mexico / Arbitrary executions: UN expert to assess prospects for a better protection of life

GENEVA (17 April 2013) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns will conduct an official information-gathering visit to Mexico from 22 April to 2 May 2013, to assess challenges and opportunities for a better protection of the right to life. This is the first visit to the country since 1999 by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate and report on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

“I will devote specific attention to Government programmes aimed at providing protection of all persons, particularly of vulnerable groups such as women, children, migrants, journalists and human rights defenders, and assess protection measures of victims, witnesses and their families,” said Mr. Heyns who will also engage with the authorities to identify the main obstacles impeding accountability in cases of unlawful killings and death threats.

“I do hope to engage on the challenges and strengths in the system, and to work with the Mexican authorities and other actors to see to what extent international experience can contribute to the protection of the right to life, hopefully providing a fresh perspective on this issue,” the expert noted.

Mr. Heyns will visit Mexico City, and the states of Chihuahua, Guerrero and Nuevo León, where he will meet relevant government authorities at the federal and state levels as well as with representatives from the UN system, civil society organizations, victims and witnesses.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference to share the preliminary findings of his visit on Thursday 2 May 2013, at 15:00, at Sala Mario Molina, United Nations Complex in Mexico City (Montes Urales 440, Col. Lomas de Chapultepec).

His report on the visit to Mexico will be presented in a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in 2014.

The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns (South Africa), is a director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria, where he has also directed the Centre for Human Rights, and has engaged in wide-reaching initiatives on human rights in Africa. He has advised a number of international, regional and national entities on human rights issues. Learn more, log on to:

UN Human Rights Country Page – Mexico:

Check the 1999 report on Mexico by the previous Special Rapporteur:

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva (before the visit): Vanessa Asensio (+41 22 917 9158 / or write to
In Mexico City (during the visit): Gabriela Gorjón (+5255 5061 6374 /

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 /

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