Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:

The Submitters allege a failure by Mexico to effectively enforce its environmental law by denying access to environmental justice to Indigenous communities in the Sierra Tarahumara in the State of Chihuahua. They particularly assert failures to effectively enforce environmental law relative to the citizen complaint process, to alleged environmental crimes and other to alleged violations with respect to forest resources and the environment in the Sierra Tarahumara.

Summary of the response provided by the Party:

In its response to the submission, received by the CEC 15 February 2002, Mexico asserts that, in addition to the 34 citizen complaints to which the Secretariat refers in its determination, it handled and concluded 139 citizen complaints filed by Tarahumara communities in the period from February 1998 to March 2000. The Party also asserts that it ruled on the appeals referenced in the submission. With regard to the alleged environmental crimes referenced in the submission, under Article 14(3)(a) of the NAAEC, the Party requests that the Secretariat terminate the process because the criminal complaint is subject to an administrative procedure pending resolution before the Federal Public Prosecutor. In addition, Mexico’s response states that “…as of the year 2000, a series of meetings have been held between the relevant authorities of the Party and [the affected indigenous communities and the nongovernmental organizations], intended to periodically inform them of the status of their complaints and to clarify any legal situation arising in connection with them. Such meetings serve as forums to set forth any environmental situations arising in this geographical area…” Lastly, Mexico’s response indicates that the Party intends to form “participatory oversight committees for the conservation of natural resources” in the area.

Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:

General Law (LGEEPA)- articles 158 f.II, 159 bis 3 y 4, 169, 176, 189-191, 193, 199, 202; Federal Criminal Code- articles 416, 418, 419; Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO)-article 15.2.

Submitter(s):

Comisión de Solidaridad y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, Asociación Civil (COSYDDHAC)

Submission Timeline

June 9, 2000

The Secretariat received a submission and began a preliminary analysis of it under the guidelines.

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 19/06/2000

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 31/05/2000

June 19, 2000

Under guideline 3.10, the Secretariat requested the submitter(s) to correct minor errors of form.

April 30, 2001

The Submitters corrected the minor errors of form.

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 30/04/2001

November 6, 2001

The Secretariat determined that the submission met the criteria of Article 14(1) and requested a response from the concerned government Party in accordance with Article 14(2).

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14 (1) and 14 (2) authored by Secretariat on 06/11/2001

February 15, 2002

The Secretariat received a response from the concerned government Party and began considering whether to recommend a factual record.

Acknowledgement - authored by Secretariat on 22/02/2002

Party Response - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Mexico on 15/02/2002

August 29, 2002

The Secretariat informed Council that the Secretariat considers that the submission warrants development of a factual record.

Annex - authored by Secretariat on 29/08/2002

Recommendation - Secretariat Notification to Council under Article 15(1) authored by on

April 22, 2003

The Council voted to instruct the Secretariat to develop a Factual Record.

Resolution - Council decision concerning the development of a Factual Record authored by Council on 22/04/2003

May 15, 2003

The Secretariat placed a work plan on its web site or otherwise made it available to the public and stakeholders.

Workplan - Overall workplan for Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 15/05/2003

September 2, 2003

The Secretariat posted a request for information relevant to the factual record on its web site.

Secretariat Information Request - Secretariat request for information for Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 02/09/2003

April 6, 2005

The Secretariat submitted a draft factual record to Council, for a 45-day comment period on the accuracy of the draft.

May 24, 2005

The Secretariat received comments from the United States.

May 24, 2005

The Secretariat received comments from Mexico.

July 26, 2005

The Secretariat submitted a final factual record to Council for Council's vote on whether to make the final factual record publicly available.

December 21, 2005

Council voted to instruct the Secretariat to make the final factual record publicly available.

Resolution - Council decision on whether the factual record will be made publicly available authored by Council on 21/12/2005

January 9, 2006

The final factual record was publicly released.

Final Factual Record - Final Factual Record authored by Secretariat on 26/07/2005