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Human rights are the medicine Mexico needs to heal itself

January 17, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the deep inequality that has long existed in Mexico . Decades of violence, corruption, impunity, structural discrimination and economic inequality have submerged the nation in a human rights crisis, now compounded by a grave health emergency.

The state has the obligation to protect and guarantee the rights of everyone in Mexico, without discrimination. It must urgently strengthen the precarious and underfunded public health system, and ensure adequate safeguards with respect to social security and employment. But beyond this, the government has an opportunity to make the radical changes needed to transform society and stop trampling on the most marginalised groups of the population.

The pandemic affects all of us, but it does not affect us all in the same ways. The Mexican authorities must listen to those whose voices have historically been silenced or ignored, such as indigenous peoples, women, LGBTIQ+ people, people living in poverty, and migrants and refugees.

They must treat people with compassion and empathy, rather than abandoning, stigmatising, or re-victimising those who need state support. They must also protect the journalists and human rights defenders who risk their lives fighting for a better tomorrow, instead of further endangering them. Human rights are the medicine that Mexico needs to heal itself.

This article was published in Spanish by La Lista, as part of a series of 22 recommendations by different figures on how to heal the nation

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