HomeNewsBriefMexico Military Responds to Human Rights Scandals with Helmet Cameras
BRIEF

Mexico Military Responds to Human Rights Scandals with Helmet Cameras

HUMAN RIGHTS / 28 OCT 2015 BY ELIJAH STEVENS EN

Mexico's military is to introduce body cameras for soldiers as part of efforts to rebuild a human rights record tarnished by recent scandals, but experiences elsewhere suggest such measures alone will not be enough to end abuse and impunity.

Mexico's National Defense Secretary (Sedena) has announced a plan to install 2,245 video cameras on the helmets of military personnel, reported Milenio. The initiative stems from recommendations made by the National Human Rights Commission (CDNH) in response to the Tlatlaya massacre in 2014, in which 22 people were allegedly executed by military officers

The helmets will also be mounted with audio recorders, GPS devices and lamps, reported SDP Noticias. The objective of the initiative is to record "incidents and interactions" with civilians in the hopes of documenting and reducing human rights violations, according to Milenio.

The military began documenting various drug trafficking and organized crime operations with video cameras at the start of this year, but only commanding officers were provided with cameras. The new funding will markedly increase the number of cameras available.

In addition to the cameras, Sedena will also provide human rights and use-of-force training to military personnel.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Mexican military has been under increasing pressure to improve its human rights record, with the scandal over the Tlatlaya massacre followed by the United States' decision to cut security aid over concerns the police and army continue to commit regular abuses. However, while the decision to implement body cameras for Mexico's military may serve as a step toward accountability, serious doubts remain as to whether the army is doing enough to change a culture dogged by abuse and impunity.

The initiative echoes various projects in Mexico and across Latin America that have attempted to reduce security abuses with recording equipment -- with mixed results. 

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Parts of Mexico have already experimented with body cameras, which are used by police officers in Tijuana, a border city notorious for police corruption. However, the program in Tijuana has been framed as an initiative to protect police rather than protect civilians from abuses and officers are able to turn the cameras on and off when they want and to erase the footage, Al Jazeera America reported.

Similar cameras have also been installed in police cars in Brazil, where police killings of civilians run rampant. In 2014, such cameras recorded the extrajudicial killing of a teenager, yet the recording equipment seems to have done little to reduce police killings, which continue to rise.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 15 DEC 2021

A recent study of credit card cloning around the world revealed some startling disparities in the risks customers face across…

EXTRADITION / 8 AUG 2022

A US request has led Guatemala to dismantle a prolific human smuggling ring that smuggled migrants to the United States.

HOMICIDES / 28 JAN 2021

Nineteen people shot and burned in a Mexico border state near Texas is a macabre reminder that migrants being smuggled…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…