Mexico: Background

Since 1994 Global Exchange has worked with and supported Mexico’s justice, peace, and democracy movements. Over the years this work has taken many forms including direct accompaniment of threatened communities; elections observation missions, and research on difficult topics such as corruption and impunity within Mexico’s armed forces. 

During the late 1990s Global Exchange facilitated for international witness in military occupied or threatened communities in Chiapas by placing observers with the Fray Bartolome Human Rights Center. With this experience in southern Mexico, Global Exchange also assisted local human rights organizations in Oaxaca and Guerrero in early 2000.
At the same time, Global Exchange mounted election monitoring missions at the state and federal level, issuing pre and post reports on the electoral process our mission observed.
In the wake of our observation of the contested 2006 federal elections, we reported on months of protests that mobilized millions in Mexico City and across the country. During that same period we reported from the state of Oaxaca where pro-government forces employed politically targeted murder and repressive violence to quell a teacher’s strike that had evolved into a mass popular uprising.
At the end of 2006 newly inaugurated president, Felipe Calderón sent the Army into the streets to fight the “drug war”. Since then, the security climate in Mexico has deteriorated at an alarming rate. As of June of 2011, more than 40,000 had died in an escalating conflict that has devastated Mexico while empowering criminality that thrives in conditions of extreme impunity where fear and violence reign supreme. 

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