The human rights map of Mexico shows that although companies face significant risks of association with violations of civil and political rights throughout the country, these risks are particularly high on the country’s borders where conflict between the state and criminal networks is most intense.
Former president Felipe Calderon (2006-2012), whose security agenda was mainly focused on combating drug trafficking organisations, failed to improve the protection of civil liberties or safeguard human rights defenders. Consequently, human rights abuses were commonly committed with impunity by criminal groups and, in many cases, by the security forces. In this context, the presidency of Enrique Pena Nieto, which started in December 2012, is unlikely to bring significant changes in the short to medium term, as his security agenda will leave security forces’ priorities and norms largely unaltered. As a result, companies will remain at significant risk of association with human rights violations, particularly if they have operations or business partners in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas.