Commissioners: Rosa María Ortiz, Rodrigo Escobar Gil, and Dinah Shelton Petitioners: Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (Centro PRODH), Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Francisco de Vitoria (CDHFFV), Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH), Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Cases (FRAYBA), Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos “Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos” (REDTDT), FUNDAR, Centro de Análisis e Investigación, State of Mexico, Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA), Propuesta Cívica A.C., Amnesty International, Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña “Tlachinollan, Instituto Mexicano de Derechos Humanos y Democracia (IMDHD) , Ciudadanos en Apoyo a los Derechos Humanos A.C (CADHAC) , Centro de Derechos Humanos Bartolomé Carrasco Briseño (BARCA), Asociadas por lo Justo (JASS), Casa del Migrante de Saltillo (Frontera con Justicia A.C. y Humanidad Sin Fronteras A.C.), Centro Jurídico para los Derechos Humanos State: Mexico Civil society organizations began a March 14, 2013 hearing on the general human rights situation in Mexico by noting several issues including the high incidence of impunity in Mexico and arbitrary arrest and detention of individuals. The National Commission on Human Rights (not present at the hearing), an independent human rights institution, received thousands of cases of arbitrary detention and torture in the past eighteen years. Although the state was committed to investigating the incidents of arbitrary arrest and torture, no prosecutions occurred. Representatives of civil society questioned why although 120 cases of torture were cited, there were no resulting judgments or prosecutions. Civil society believed the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) could play an important role in the issue of arbitrary detention. The petitioners also reported that public ministries did not know how to help the victims or families of the victims. For example, family members of victims of arbitrary detention were threatened so that they did not go through with reporting incidents. Even though several bills were introduced in the last session of Congress, only a few of these bills were enacted because of the resistance on the part of authorities. Another issue civil society representatives addressed was military justice. Military courts have been more frequently used since 2001, when violence caused by organized crime groups increased. The representatives wanted reform to curb the use of military courts. The National Commission on Human Rights also received 109 reports against police forces in Mexico detailing the militarization of police forces in recent years. The representatives said that two people are put in extended pre-trial detention every day. Under the constitutional provision called arraigo, only those individuals involved in organized criminal groups can be put in pretrial detention for up to 80 days. Despite this, police forces are putting individuals in pre-trial detention even for common crimes. The representatives also mentioned a need for a legal status for disappeared persons. They encouraged the state to respond to these problems and urged the Commission to visit Mexico and update the report on Mexico, since the most recent report is from 1998. The state representatives summarized different initiatives Mexico was undertaking to strengthen human rights in the country including an education reform bill and a new victims’ rights law. Although the state agreed with civil society that the laws were not enough to see substantial change and further enforcement was needed, they noted that the first step was passing more legislation in favor of human rights. The state said it will improve the database of disappeared persons and create a specialized group made up of officials from the Ministry of Public Security, Mexico’s law enforcement agency exclusively dedicated to recovering disappeared persons. The Mexican officials stated that they have already made progress on the issue of disappeared persons by joining with Red Cross to design new search protocols. Mexico also said they recognize the struggles of the civil society and want to join with them to combat these issues. Mexico agreed with the civil society that the legal status of disappeared persons needs to be included in the law. In terms of progress, the officials said the new victims law has bees applied in forty-eight cases and last week the secretariat started a dialogue on the rights of migrants. They urged the Inter-American Commission to come to Mexico and help the state on these issues. Commissioner Escobar Gil requested more information about each of these specific issues in order to enact appropriate measures to tackle them. Commissioner Shelton also requested information on human trafficking and corruption in Mexico because she believed this connected to organized crime in the State. Commissioner Ortiz asked Mexico if military justice reform was contemplated for the future so that human rights violations would be judged in general jurisdiction and not in military courts. Mexico responded that a senate committee was working on human trafficking issues and they were in the process of reforming the military code of justice.