On April 9, the Second People's Tribunal on Israel's role in the militarization of Latin America was held, this time with a focus on Mexico. More than 90 human rights organizations and Mexican movements have come together to present and judge the findings of a study detailing how Mexico has financed the Israeli military industry with $US182 million, importing weapons, technology and training that continue to date and facilitate the ongoing human rights violations in Mexico.
The Israeli government and companies such as the neoliberal Mexican governments of recent decades are both accused of planning, implementing, supporting and profiting from violations of the human rights of the Palestinian and Mexican people.
The People's Judgment has taken place at the same day of the visit to Mexico of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the discussions about the new National Guard and the laws that accompany it.
The convening organizations have presented a report that not only shos the devastating impact Israeli militarism and arms industry as part of Israel’s ongoing occupation, colonialism and apartheid in Palestine. It demonstrates the danger that the Israeli military and security industry represents for democracy and human rights in Mexico, in addition to violating international law and various United Nations conventions of which Mexico is a signatory.
Witnesses and experts of the effect of Israeli weapons, technologies and methods from Mexico and Palestine, Israel, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras and the United States have given powerful proof and statements during the event.
Please read the full text of the verdict below.
FULL TEXT OF THE VERDICT OF THE POPULAR JURY
For your consideration:
Taking into account today's proceedings and witness accounts, do you feel that there is sufficient proof and evidence to bring the State of Israel, its institutions and companies involved in the military and security sector to trial?
Taking into account today's proceedings and witness accounts, do you feel that there is sufficient proof and evidence to bring Mexico's neoliberal governments, its institutions and companies that have links to Israel's military and security sector to trial?
Popular Jury Verdict
We conclude that there is sufficient evidence to bring all the accused parties to trial.
We wish to place in the record that the international community has previously concluded that serious violations of international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people have been committed along with unlawful acts internationally recognized as crimes under the Rome Statute. Mention should be made here of the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Israel's construction of a wall in the Occupied Territories, which confirms a series of violations committed by Israel, among them the Palestinian people's right to self-determination. The UN ESCWA report concluded that "Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole". We are outraged and indignant at the rising tide of violence – including military aggression – with which Israel continues its policies of occupation, apartheid, and colonialism against the Palestinian people.
We also note that the ICJ's ruling on the wall has confirmed that third-party states, such as Mexico, and the international community as a whole, have an obligation to act to stop Israel's violations of peremptory norms of international law and that they are prohibited from providing aid or assistance to these violations. It seems clear to us that there is sufficient evidence to state that Mexico evades these obligations –indeed, Mexico does not recognize the State of Palestine- and has violated and is violating these prohibitions.
It is sufficiently clear that the Israeli "security" model violates laws and human rights. Israeli weapons, technologies, and methods are proven, in the words of Israeli military industry itself, to have been developed in an illegal regime and have been used in human rights violations.
Through its embassy and private businessmen, Israel has maintained, at least since the 1990s, a conscious and systematic policy to promote its models, methods, weapons, and technology within the Mexican government. The testimonies presented here have convinced us that Israel effectively facilitated and profited from serious human rights violations committed by the Mexican government and its security and military bodies.
We recall that those primarily responsible for human rights violations during the past few decades in Mexico and in particular during the misnamed "War on Drugs" are the country’s own authorities, but the State of Israel played a complicit role. Moreover, Israel has continued to provide support and assistance to the government even after the human rights violations in Mexico were internationally recognized. Israel has promoted arms sales to Mexico knowing of the nefarious effects.
We declare that Mexico is responsible for having provided, against its obligations under international law, assistance and support so that Israel can maintain the illegal occupation of and commit crimes against the Palestinian population. Mexico's spending in the Israeli military industry is at least US$630,220,499.27. It should be noted that, without the military exports of its state and private companies, the policies of the State of Israel would not be sustainable.
There are indications that the Mexican authorities have legitimized the military and security paradigm based on Israeli repression in Mexico and other countries around the world.
We reaffirm that companies have an obligation to respect human rights and that companies in both countries are equally responsible for having facilitated, assisted, and profited from these crimes.
We conclude that the State of Israel, its institutions and companies in the military and security sectors, the government of Mexico in recent decades and Mexican companies that have had military and security relations with Israel, can be considered guilty of various charges.
The procedure to be followed to arrive at a final judgment must:
- Investigate the details of the offenses being charged, including the extent to which Israel, its companies and institutions have been complicit in human rights violations in Mexico. We have heard evidence that still does not reveal the totality of the phenomenon.
- Investigate personal and institutional responsibilities in order to hold those responsible for human rights violations in Mexico criminally accountable.
- Determine the conditions for guaranteeing reparations for harm to victims by ensuring that their voices are heard.
- Define a legal roadmap that could involve other national or international judicial bodies.
We are aware that there is a clear risk that these governmental practices will continue to result in serious human rights violations, putting the right to life at risk. The technologies in question continue to be used in Mexico by companies that could put respect for human rights at risk.
- We urge the government of Mexico to recognize Palestine as a free, independent, and sovereign state.
- We call on Mexico to immediately implement United Nations General Assembly resolution ES-9/1 (1982) for a military embargo on Israel.
- We demand that the Mexican government investigate all contracts, consultancy cooperation agreements, and all companies in the security and military sectors, including suppliers of technology and security training, to determine if they were or are currently involved in human rights violations and whether they promote practices or technologies that violate human rights. This is to ensure that all companies operating in the sector are registered and controlled due to their past or present involvement in human rights violations.
- We call for the federal, state and municipal governments of Mexico and government ministries and agencies to guarantee full access and transparency in this area.
- We urge, as a precautionary measure, that as long as the investigation has not been concluded, no new contracts should be entered into with Israel, its institutions, and military and security sector companies, and existing contracts should be frozen until the investigations have been completed.
- No contracts or cooperation should be signed with companies and states/institutions involved in systematic human rights violations.
As peoples and movements that have promoted this trial and are represented on the jury, we pledge to contribute to and actively participate in the Palestinian civil society's call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel. We note that military and security ties have implied large amounts of money that should be invested in education, health, and other socially oriented measures instead of financing the Israeli military industry that kills Palestinians and Mexicans.
Long live free Palestine!
Israel out of Palestine!
Israel out of Latin America!