San Miguel de Allende human rights violations denounced “Closure of the city is illegal”


November 14, 2020. Yesterday afternoon, the President of ONEA Carlos Gidi Blanchet was arbitrarily intercepted by elements of the San Miguel de Allende Municipal Police, who in an otherwise arrogant and belligerent manner demanded that he wear a mask to move through the streets of the Historic Center of the city. When requesting the legal basis for said request, Carlos Gidi was the victim of intimidation by the police officers, threatening him with the use of public force and even depriving him of his liberty if he did not comply with their instructions.

The arbitrariness of the actions deployed by these public servants is evident; Well, in relation to acts of nuisance, our Constitution is clear: no one can be bothered in person except by virtue of a written order that founds and motivates the legal cause of the procedure. In this way, the Guanajuato authorities had the obligation to present, clearly and objectively, the legal precepts that justified their actions. However, they limited themselves to claiming in a despotic and abusive manner the wearing of the mask, restricting the freedom of transit of the Veracruz businessman.

In particular, the ONEA notes with particular concern the threat made by the security agents in relation to depriving Carlos Gidi of his freedom. This would represent a profound violation of their human rights and an omission on the part of public servants to implement health prevention measures against COVID-19 in accordance with the guidelines established by federal and international authorities on the matter.

Indeed, both the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Health, the State Commissions for Human Rights of Jalisco and Oaxaca, and the 11th District Court of the latter have strongly rejected arbitrary detentions and the use of public force to enforce the laws. preventive measures for the pandemic, including the mandatory use of a mask. Specifically and, in accordance with the information provided by the WHO, the Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion Hugo López-Gatell has stressed on several occasions that this measure is merely auxiliary; Therefore, making it coercive through administrative sanctions or, worse still, with the use of force, disrupts the organization of a collective response that must necessarily be supportive in the face of the health crisis.

In this sense, it is reiterated that, in accordance with national and international human rights law, restrictive measures must comply with the requirements of legality, necessity, temporality, and proportionality, with the intention of avoiding that, in a context of a health emergency, as the current one, the authorities act in a despotic or discretionary manner.

In this way, the ONEA categorically condemns the tyrannical and illegal implementation of restrictive measures by the authorities of the State of Guanajuato, who, despite not having a presidential mandate or the General Health Council, apply policies to the detriment of the right to the free movement of citizens, in frank opposition to their obligations to respect and guarantee human rights.

Therefore, the ONEA urges the authorities of the State of Guanajuato and, particularly, the City Council of San Miguel de Allende to adapt their health policies to the framework of constitutional regularity and the recommendations made by national and international institutions on health matters. In the same way, it invites you to refrain from using public force and/or implementing disproportionate administrative sanctions, in order not to violate the human rights of citizens in the execution of their preventive measures to face the pandemic. Finally, this Organization holds the aforementioned authorities responsible for any damage or injury that its President, Carlos Gidi Blanchet, may suffer.


Article 11 of the CPEUM establishes the right of all people to move freely throughout the national territory without the need to have a passport or any other permit. This freedom has been violated during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the fact that different local authorities, such as the Municipal Government of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, have issued a series of official decrees through which they condition the entry and exit of people to its territory.

In the specific case, the City Council authorities implemented the Protocol for the Reopening of the Economic Activities of San Miguel de Allende (Government of SMA, 2020) and, as of July 29, they determined that the entry of visitors to the city requires of “duly certified hotel and/or restaurant reservation” (Government of SMA, 2020). These measures represent a big problem, since, first of all, local authorities are not empowered to suspend or restrict human rights (Hidalgo, 2020).

In effect, Article 29 of the Constitution determines that the possibility of suspension of fundamental rights rests ” only ” on the President of the United Mexican States, with the approval of the Congress of the Union. Similarly, the aforementioned paragraph indicates that these decrees must be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Justice. Accordingly, Article 124 of the Magna Carta clearly establishes that local authorities cannot exercise the powers granted exclusively to federal officials. Finally, Article 1 of the Constitution states that human rights may not be suspended or restricted “except in the cases and under the conditions established” by the Constitution itself. In this way, the decrees made by the San Miguel de Allende City Council do not find constitutional validity.

In addition to the above, both Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 27 of the American Convention on Human Rights oblige States, when they decide to suspend guarantees, to inform the other States of the reasons and scope of said suspension. part. This, obviously, was not carried out by the Guanajuato authorities either.

Finally, it should be noted that, under the constitutional framework and international human rights treaties, it would be extremely difficult to justify the restriction of freedom of movement, since such measure should meet the criteria of proportionality, necessity, and legitimacy. In this way, an absolute limitation of freedom of movement could imply a risk to the subsistence of a large number of people in vulnerable situations (Hidalgo, 2020).


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