Posts Tagged Human Rights Commission

A visit to D.F.’s Human Rights Commission

Today, Ainhoa and I tried yet another mode of transportation. Called a, “micro” or “pesera” these are independent buses that travel to various destinations and cover routes not frequented by government transportation systems.

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One of these “micros” transported us to D.F.’s Human Rights Commission (CDHDF), a local organ with its foundations in Mexico’s constitution, and an authority autonomous of the local and federal government. I was pleasantly surprised by the Commission’s atmosphere and quickly noticed a stark contrast between it’s environment and that of CONAGUA, which we visited this past monday. Not surprisingly. I can really only think to describe our interaction with CONAGUA as bureaucratic.

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CDHDF on the other hand was quite the opposite. I’ve passed the Commission numerous times throughout my time in Mexico, it happens to be across the street from one of my favorite parks in D.F., called Viveros. From a major avenue, Universidad, the Commission welcomed us with big bold letters. Built to reflect its theme of transparency, its open spaces contain plenty of glass, both inside and out, full of friendly-faced staff and citizens waiting to be assisted. We were greeted with open arms by a Director, who made every effort to answer our questions and provide us with the Commission’s materials. He informed us that it’s the Commission’s job to assist any individual, free of charge, on human rights issues, whether they walk-in, phone-in, or file a claim online.

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We got to see the Commission’s new Mobile Ombuds vans, that are to travel around the city for individuals to receive assistance. They basically look like mobile offices, as pictured below.

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I left the Commission with a feeling of excitement. Glad to know we’ll be returning soon and hoping to speak to many others. I guess that’s the difference between visiting an organization who sees water rights as a human right, CDHDF, as opposed to an organization that sees water simply as resource to be distributed.

After we left, we stopped for a bite to eat nearby right before a heavy rainfall. Left without an umbrella, we were stranded for a while inside a coffee-shop.

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This is not the first time the rain keeps us waiting, and I’m quite sure it won’t be the last.

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