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Human Rights Watch: High levels of violence, impunity key challenges facing Mexico

A major NGO just published its annual reporton the state of human rights in dozens of countries around the world. Tyler Mattiace, the group’s Mexico researcher, was frank about the findings in that country.

“Mexico has been in a human rights crisis for a long time, and the situation has not improved over the past year,” he said.

The chapterhe authored details alarming levels of violence, sky-high rates of impunity, an epidemic of disappearances, the many dangers faced by the country’s reporters and activists and other grim realities found in many parts of the country. Amid the challenging security situation, there’s also been a rising reliance on Mexico’s armed forces for not just police functions, but a widening number of seemingly non-security related tasks, like running customs facilities.

“This idea of turning to the military is not a solution,” he said. “Because the solution needs to be serious investment and reform in the criminal justice system in such a way that it can actually conduct real investigations of crimes.”

The report does positively note that LGBTQ Mexicans have recently won a number of legislative victories, like same-sex marriage and reforms to allow transgender people to easily correct their official documents. Access to abortion has also been rising in the wake of a 2021 Supreme Court ruling, the report notes.

Born and raised in the Intermountain West, Murphy Woodhouse has called southern Arizona home for most of the last decade. He’s one of two field correspondents at KJZZ’s Hermosillo bureau, where his reporting focuses on the trade relationship between Arizona, Sonora and the rest of Mexico.Before joining the station, Murphy was a reporter at the Arizona Daily Star and the Nogales International. Prior to his reporting career, he completed a master’s degree at the University of Arizona’s Center for Latin American Studies and did three wildfire seasons with the Snake River Hotshots. He’s a proud graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism.When he’s not reporting, Murphy is often out in the woods running or riding singletrack, or swinging in a hammock with a book.