Court Holds Mexico Accountable for Man's Disappearance
December 23, 2009 | From the field

In a landmark case, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights recently found that Mexico failed to adequately investigate the disappearance of a dissident during the country’s “dirty war,” a period from the 1960s through the 1980s when the government was accused of killing and disappearing thousands of people. The decision marks the first time an international court has ruled against Mexico in a human rights case stemming from that period. In 1974, Rosendo Radilla, 25, was allegedly detained by soldiers in the city of Atoyac, Guerrero, before he disappeared. MacArthur grantee Comisión Mexicana por la Defensa y la Promoción de los Derechos Humanos litigated the case before the Court, which ordered Mexico to pay damages, publicly recognize its responsibility, and reform laws on “forced disappearances” to conform to international standards.

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