Mexico adopted its first 1325 National Action Plan in 2021. The development of the NAP was spearheaded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of the Navy, the Ministry of Security and Citizen Protection, and the National Institute for Women.
The NAP is structured along the four main pillars of the Women, Peace and Security agenda: Prevention, Participation, Protection, and Relief and Recovery. This policy aligns itself with Mexico’s Feminist Foreign Policy, adopted in January 2020.
Its main stated goal is to “mainstream a human rights and gender approach into all areas of Mexican foreign policy; to make visible the contribution of women to foreign policy and to concrete actions that have an impact on the gender foreign agenda, such as the Women, Peace and Security agenda; and to prioritize actions that have a high impact both on the global and national levels” (pg. 3). The NAP states (pg. 4) that its purpose is “to promote the substantive participation of women as real and effective actors in conflict prevention at all levels and in the efforts of the United Nations for the maintenance, reconstruction, and consolidation of peace.” It focuses primarily on women in peace operations and also on training and capacity building for different actors.
The Mexican Drug War, the national manifestation of the wider US-led War on Drugs, has persisted from the mid-2000s to the present day, with adverse impacts on human rights in the country and wider region. Violence between drug cartels existed for decades prior, but in 2006 the Mexican government began military operations against the cartels, resulting in high levels of violence. Although the exact number of deaths from the drug war is unknown, experts estimate that over 150,000 people have been killed since the war began, and thousands have disappeared. Between 2018 and 2020, over 13,000 people have been killed in relation to drug violence, many of whom were civilians.
Increased militarization resulting from the drug war has contributed to widespread human rights violations, including torture, threats, extrajudicial execution, and illegal arrest, with impunity. There have also been significant gendered impacts of militarization. Since the mid-2000s, femicides have sharply increased in Mexico, with an over 100% increase in the past four years. Additionally, women and girls in Mexico face sexual abuse, domestic violence, crackdown on feminist protest, sexual assault when taken into police custody, and austerity policies that have reduced funding for services in recent years. This violence has been significantly fueled by the widespread proliferation of weapons from the US civilian firearms and ammunition market to Mexico. Many groups have been disproportionately impacted by this violence, including migrants and people living in the northern border regions, and journalists and politicians have also been targeted. However, although the NAP aligns itself with both domestic and foreign policy, it does not reference these current events in relation to implementation of the WPS agenda, nor other relevant issues such as the border and migration.