Violence, neoliberal legality, and human rights as politics of contestation in Mexico

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University of New Brunswick


This thesis focuses on the co-existence of the human rights legal framework with violence in Mexico between 2006 and 2017. I will argue that this is due to the limitations of the Mexican human rights framework which was shaped by the context of neoliberalism. Parallelly, human rights have become a field of contention that has served as a means for social movements to use the language of human rights to challenge neoliberal legality or for the state to repress social movements. An example of the latter can be seen in the struggle carried out by the Movement for our Disappeared in Mexico to achieve a broader protection of their economic and social human rights, and the response of the Mexican state with the enactment of Internal Security Law which expands state's power to repress social movements.