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The OECD ministerial meeting on the digital economy currently taking place in Cancún, Mexico is a forum on public policies that shape the global economy. The aims are to promote innovation, growth and social prosperity. However, this important international event occurs in a critical social and political context for the Mexican government. The incidents in Oaxaca must not be overlooked while Mexico accepts serious international commitments in favor of openness, democracy, and participation.
Last Sunday, 19 June, Mexican police forces opened fire on teachers and civil society organizations who were protesting against educational reforms in the city of Nochixtlán, Oaxaca. This incident occurs in the context of the serious human rights crisis that Mexico has faced in recent years, as recognized by various international organizations such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on torture of the United Nations. The violence has left eight people dead (seven killed during the protests, and a journalist killed while carrying out his journalistic activities), seven people missing, 21 people arrested, and 108 people injured.
Moreover, it was reported that telephone lines and internet services were shut down, preventing journalistic activities as well as blocking the means of communication for protesters and residents. As members of Mexican and international civil society participating at the OECD Ministerial meeting through CSISAC, we believe that the events are unacceptable and incompatible with the values that this event aims to achieve. Democracy cannot exist in a context of state violence that disregards the right to protest.
We make an open call to participants, national and international press and delegates attending the Ministerial meeting, to pressure the Mexican government to publicly assume responsibility for the incidents in Oaxaca and fulfill its international commitments regarding human rights in order to be considered an innovative and prosperous country. As suggested by the World Bank, the respect for human rights increases economic growth and in particular, the distribution of this growth throughout society.
Finally, we call on the OECD to more rigorously assess Member States’ compliance with human rights to ensure rights are an inherent part of the future global economy.
Signed by the following organizations and individuals:
Artículo 12 A.C.
Asociación por los Derechos Civiles
Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Idec – Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do Consumidor