Activists launch site on Mexico rights abuse | News | DW | 12.10.2016
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Activists launch site on Mexico rights abuse

A transparency website has gone online in Mexico, providing information on the gravest rights abuse cases in the country's recent history. Still, the activists behind the project accuse the officials of holding back.

The online files include pictures, videos, and declassified documents on over a dozen well-known abuse cases in Mexico, with more material set to be published after the site's launch on Tuesday.

Several non-government organizations worked together for a year and a half to create the Spanish-language web page "Memory and Truth," focusing on the period 1968 and 2014. They were backed by the prestigious Iberoamericana University and the government's national transparency institute INAI.

The archive seeks to "shore up public awareness (…) on cases of state violence," the activists said in a statement.

Among other incidents, the site shows information on the massacre of 72 migrants by a drug cartel in 2010, as wells the disappearance of 43 students in 2014, allegedly at the hands of  corrupt police officials.

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Trouble with INAI

In the Tuesday statement, however, independent activists slammed the autonomous state institute INAI for not pushing the government to release more information. They also criticized the institute for withholding data by using privacy protection in a "disproportionate and unfounded" manner.

The alleged protection of privacy "amounted to a form of censorship," the NGO activists said.

While the site creators encountered "diverse problems and barriers that appeared to be technical," behind them there were "clear intentions to obstruct and undermine the project," they added.

Nursery fire blacked out

The autonomous body was also under fire for deciding to withhold a trove of documents just days before the website went online. Specifically, INAI decided not to publish the section on a nursery fire that killed 49 children in 2009.

Ana Cristina Ruelas from media rights group Article 19, said the INAI was "afraid" and "part of the political system of secrecy."

In response, INAI president Ximena Puente defended the institute, saying it also has the "delicate" responsibility of protecting "personal data."

dj/bw (AFP, EFE)


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