Curbing Military Human Rights Abuses in Mexico
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 12:30pm to 2:00pm
University Park Campus
Social Sciences Building
David Shirk and Kimberly Heinle, two co-authors of a recent report on military human rights abuses published by the Trans-Border Institute, will provide a discussion of Mexico’s current security context, the available data on military human abuses, and the available remedies to protect against such abuses in the future.
The discussant of this talk is Pamela K. Starr, Associate Professor (teaching) of International Relations, USC.
In recent years, the military has played an increased role in Mexico's efforts to combat drug trafficking organizations, and to provide domestic security more generally. As Mexican President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) deployed tens of thousands of troops to regions and cities known to be drug-trafficking routes and hubs, the massive surge of troops in domestic law enforcement activities increased civilian exposure and vulnerability to abuses by military personnel. In this context, there has been a surge of formal complaints of human rights abuses and formal reports by Mexico’s national human rights commission. While military human rights violations represent a fraction of the total number in Mexico, the fact that such abuses are not yet fully subject to civilian courts has created pressure on Mexico to adjust its domestic policies in accordance with its international human rights commitments. This talk will feature Kimberly Heinle and David Shirk, two co-authors of a recent report on military human rights abuses published by the Trans-Border Institute. Taking into consideration recent reforms and Supreme Court rulings on this issue, the authors will provide a discussion of Mexico’s current security context, the available data on military human abuses, and the available remedies to protect against such abuses in the future.
Link to Trans-Border Institute report: http://justiceinmexico.org/2012/07/30/9323/
David Shirk, PhD, is the director of the Trans-Border Institute and associate professor of Political Science at the University of San Diego. Dr. Shirk received his doctorate at the University of California-San Diego, and specializes in Mexican politics, U.S.-Mexican relations, and the U.S.-Mexican border. Dr. Shirk is principal investigator for the Justice in Mexico project (www.justiceinmexico.org), a research initiative on public security and rule of law issues in Mexico. Dr. Shirk’s is the author or editor of seven books: Shared Responsibility: U.S.-Mexico Policy Options for Confronting Organized Crime (2010); Police and Public Security in Mexico (2009); Contemporary Mexican Politics (2008); Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico (2007); Evaluating Accountability and Transparency in Mexico (2007); Análisis técnico de la propuesta de reforma al sistema de justicia mexicano (2005); and Mexico's New Politics: The PAN and Democratic Change (2005). Dr. Shirk has been a fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California-San Diego (1999-2000) and at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. (2009-10).
Recent publications by Dr. Shirk include Mexico's New Politics: The PAN and Democratic Change (Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 2005); a co-edited volume, Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico (2007); ï¿_Slavery Without Borders: Human Trafficking in the U.S.-Mexican Context,ï¿_ CSIS Hemisphere Focus, January 23, 2004; and a forthcoming co-authored book, Contemporary Mexican Politics (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2008).
Kimberly is the Operations Coordinator for the Trans-Border Institute and the Editor of the Justice in Mexico Project. In 2011, she graduated from the University of San Diego with her Master’s in International Relations, and prior to that, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Ithaca College in 2008. As part of her graduate school studies, she participated in the joint capstone research project between the National Defense Intelligence College and the University of San Diego, where she conducted research in Mexico and traveled to Washington, D.C. to present her research on human rights abuses in Mexico’s unfolding security situation. She recently co-authored a report for the Justice in Mexico Project titled, "Armed with Impunity: Curbing Military Human Rights Abuses in Mexico."