Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, today directed an open letter to Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, calling on the leader to veto the Law on Interior Security that passed Mexico´s Congress on Friday.

Speaking on behalf of an organization that represents a movement of more than 7 million people around the world, Shetty noted that “behind the vague and overly broad concept of ‘interior security’, the law conceals dangerous and concerted efforts to maintain the role of the armed forces in public security functions.”

Amnesty International is seriously concerned that this law will, without a doubt, perpetuate the long list of grave human rights violations in Mexico, including extrajudicial executions, torture and enforced disappearances.

This is despite clear evidence that this strategy has failed to improve public security during the decade since the army was deployed on the streets of Mexico.

Salil Shetty reminded President Peña Nieto of the warning he had personally offered him almost four years ago when they met in Mexico City after his first year in his term. At that time, he headed an international delegation from Amnesty International that warned Peña Nieto of the militarized strategy he was eager to continue.

The increasing deployment of the armed forces to undertake public security tasks has not contributed to reduce violence and crime in the country. The year 2017 will end as the most violent year in Peña Nieto´s presidential term, and is set to register the highest homicide rate in at least a decade.

“This is an agonizing moment for Mexican citizens, who have been overlooked by a Mexican Congress that wilfully chooses to ignore the public outcry against this law. If the president decides to enact this legislation, he will be placing the human rights of millions at risk,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

In addition, Amnesty International urges the current candidates for the presidential election of 2018 to call on President Peña Nieto to veto the law.