By: Rafael Cabrera
The majority in the senate approved a reform to limit the immunity of members of the armed forces, if they commit crimes against civilians, this afternoon. In this way, it will be civilian courts instead of military courts that will judge the military soldiers if crimes are committed against citizens.
The approved reform was achieved eight years since international organizations such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) and civil society organizations demanded that the Military Code of Justice be limited. The main case in order to achieve this was the court’s ruling on the case of Rosendo Radilla, who was abducted by a group of soldiers in 1974.
In 2009, the International Court ordered the Mexican government to change its laws in order to ensure that military members of the Armed Forces are tried in cases of committing crimes against the people.
The approved changes by the senators include the Military Code of Justice and four other legislation affecting National Defense, the Mexican Air Force, and the Mexican Navy.
The reform was adopted unanimously by 106 votes in the Senate. The approved law was sent to the Chamber of Deputies, which must also approve it in order for it to take effect.
During the administration of Felipe Calderón, complaints about abuses committed by members of the army and navy against civilians increased.