MEXICO CITY — The Navy Secretariat (Semar) and the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) signed a collaboration agreement in the presence of leading officials, creating a “Unit of Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.” Its tasks will be to:
— Contribute to the strengthening of a culture of promotion, respect, protection and guaranteeing of human rights within Semar.
— Directing planning, studies and analysis on human rights, international law and international humanitarian law for Semar.
— Promoting the coordination between other areas of Semar and the training of navy personnel.
— Instituting gender equality within Semar.
During the press conference, Navy Secretary Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz appealed to society, asking it not to make premature judgements in cases where armed forces are accused of violating human rights.
“We appeal to society’s understanding, to avoid premature judgments towards those who seek to accomplish their duty, until a judge has determined their legal responsibility. Meanwhile, we will continue doing our best efforts to avoid acts that, as a consequence, in some cases lead to true criminals being free and continue to harm society.”
The head of Mexico’s navy stated that they will continue to support public security assignments when required, underlining that they do so under Mexican laws.
“For our part, as armed forces we will continue fulfilling the presidential mandate and aiding in interior security operations. This in no way means that we have taken the law into our own hands, let alone the life and dignity of others, those who think this are wrong and harm Mexico.”
Soberón Sanz insisted that, should any irregularity be detected within the ranks of the armed forces, it would be solved head-on and owning up to the nation, with firm and decisive actions.
If in the line of duty excesses are committed, we will make available to the pertinent authorities whoever has broken the law, given that such acts tarnish our mission. I must add, however, that such acts are isolated and in no way are undertaken as procedure.”
Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, Navy Secretary
For his part, Luis Raúl González Pérez, the president of the CNDH, said that it is very serious when public servants commit irregularities or abuses that affect due process and can lead to impunity.
He added that efforts to combat insecurity and organized crime are not incompatible with respecting human rights, stating that the Mexican state must guarantee truth, justice and reparation for victims reaches every person whose human rights have been violated.