As part of our AmeriCorps experience, and as one of the perks of living in the D.C. Metro Area, we can attend so many educational events at governmental and non-governmental organizations on various topics. Not too long ago, the AmeriCorps group decided to attend an event hosted by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) on the human rights situation in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. We learned a lot from the speakers about the types of human rights abuses that are taking place in Ciudad Juárez and how the Mexican judicial system has denied many of its citizens’ justice. Not only does the system have some corrupt public servants, but it also has serious flaws that prevent cases from even getting heard by a judge.
The event focused mainly on human rights abuses committed by the Mexican military and how a good number of these cases are never reported because the victims feel that reprisals by the military are a sure thing. This is why in order to get some type of justice, or at least to give the human rights situation in Mexico some attention, the victims have filed suit against the Mexican state at the Inter-American Court on Human Rights. The interesting thing is that the Mexican government has lost a number of these cases, but unfortunately, even though they won in court, the victims either had to flee the country or move to another part of Mexico because they feared for their lives. It was a great event and we hope to continue going to many more like it.
-Jose Flores, Lead Teacher and AmeriCorps Member