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Disappearances in the Post-Transition Era in Latin America$
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Karina Ansolabehere, Barbara A. Frey, and Leigh A. Payne

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197267226

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197267226.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 07 December 2021

The Legal Framework on Disappearances in Mexico: From Demands to the Law and Back to Demands

The Legal Framework on Disappearances in Mexico: From Demands to the Law and Back to Demands

(p.97) 5 The Legal Framework on Disappearances in Mexico: From Demands to the Law and Back to Demands
Disappearances in the Post-Transition Era in Latin America

Sandra Serrano

Volga de Pina Ravest

British Academy

This chapter explains that the General Law on Disappearances in Mexico is a legal change achieved by a broad mobilisation of families of victims of disappearance in a challenging context of persistent violence in the country. The Law helps to improve the relevant standards related to searching for disappeared persons, guaranteeing the rights of the victims’ families, furthering the investigation of forced disappearance caused by the government and/or individuals, as well as creating the institutional structures focused on the search for persons. Despite this, the law’s innovative advances coexist alongside previous institutional mechanisms that perpetuate practices contrary to the rights of victims and their families, which risk neutralising the Law. Accordingly, the chapter focuses on the promotion of legal mobilisation strategies in countries, such as Mexico, which accept normative and institutional changes without worrying about their enforcement, since, in practice, new provisions clash with previously created structures that have similar legal authority but greater decision-making power, and are, thus, better able to exercise that authority.

Keywords:   Forced disappearance, Disappearance by private agents, Institutional change, Legal reform, Mobilisation, Mexico, Search

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