Are security agreements legal for companies

The planned security agreement between Germany and Mexico. A critical analysis

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I. Introduction

II. Exacerbation of the debate about a “security agreement” due to current incidents and murder victims
II.1. The Federal Criminal Police Office has been training Mexican police for four years
II.2. German rifles in action against students in Iguala, Mexico

III. Critical analysis
III.1. Disagreements in the German Bundestag - supporters and critics of the "security agreement"
III.2. German human rights coordination Mexico advises rejecting a "security agreement"

IV. "Veiled" motives for a "security agreement" on the part of Germany and Mexico

V. Conclusion

VI. bibliography

I. Introduction

The present work on the subject of "Planned Security Agreement between Mexico and Germany - A Critical Analysis" deals with the current debate about the "Security Agreement" between Germany and Mexico, which the then Federal President Christian Wulff, during his state visit to Mexico in May 2011 , announced (German Federal Government, 2011). The trigger for the plans for a "security agreement" with Mexico is the miserable human rights situation, the increasing power of drug cartels and the high proportion of impunity. The Federal Council states that this agreement deals with “the exchange of information about criminals, people behind them, associations of perpetrators, structures of groups of perpetrators, crime times, crime scenes, violated criminal norms, measures taken”, (German Federal Council, 2011), as well as “um police cooperation, training and technical support in the fight against crime ”(Rottscheidt, 2015).

This “security agreement” should be concluded in 2014 (Prange, 2014). Since the most recent incident in September 2014, in which 43 students were arrested by local police units and handed over to the criminal gang "Guerros Unidos", the German government has come under increasing pressure from critics of the security agreement (Neuber, 2014).

In this thesis, current incidents and murder victims are briefly discussed in order to gain an insight into the current situation in Mexico and the background to the debates about the "security agreement". Then the arguments of the proponents and the 'opponents' of a "security agreement" are compared, and a critical analysis is used to question the extent to which a "security agreement" between Mexico and Germany can contribute to an improvement in the problem of corruption, violence and human rights violations in Mexico, or whether this would even be counterproductive.

II. Exacerbation of the debate about a “security agreement” due to current incidents and murder victims

Since the massacre of 43 student teachers on September 26, 2014 in the city of Iguala, a southern Mexican state in Guerrero, discussions about a "security agreement" between Germany and Mexico have intensified. The young students were on their way to a fundraiser to fund a demonstration to commemorate a student massacre in Mexico City in 1968 (Jost, 2014). The German Bundestag (2014) recorded on December 14, 2014 that armed state forces, political officials and criminal gangs were involved in the alleged crime. In addition, mass graves with buried bodies and burned corpses have now been found. The Mexico Attorney General believes that the bodies are the missing students, but only one of the bodies has been identified.

The Iguala massacre was joined by numerous other acts of violence. These are also directed against activists of social movements, against critical journalists, as well as against human rights defenders and are carried out largely with the participation of military and police forces (Vogel, 2011). The German Bundestag reports that three months before the violent crime committed by Iguala, 21 young people were shot by the police in the town of Tlatlaya in the state of Mexico (German Bundestag, 2014). Contrary to the statements of the representatives of the country and the city of Tlatlaya, research by the US media and an eyewitness report have shown that these were extrajudicial executions and that the victims were not criminals. Furthermore, a German exchange student was shot and injured by the police on October 12, 2014, and a leading Twitter activist was murdered in northern Mexico on October 17 for informing the public about the violence and complicity between organized crime and government officials (Deutscher Bundestag, 2014). According to media reports in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (Neuber, 2014), the German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel is sticking to closer cooperation with the security authorities in Mexico. In contrast, critics are calling for negotiations on such a "security agreement" to be broken off. In the following chapter of this work, the influences that Germany had so far on the Mexican state, especially on police units, are presented. This is followed by a critical analysis of the arguments of supporters and critics of a "security agreement".

II.1. The Federal Criminal Police Office has been training Mexican police for four years

As the new Rheinische Zeitung reported on December 17, 2014, the German Federal Criminal Police Office has been supporting the Mexican police for four years (Neuber, 2014). The Mexico vía Berlin association[1] researched that between November 2010 and September 2014 at least nine training measures of the Federal Criminal Police Office for the judicial and police authorities took place. Several thousand Mexican civil servants benefit from these training courses and pass the knowledge they gain on to their own authorities (Peteranderl, 2014). In addition, a course on “Techniques and Methods in Police Operations” is said to have been organized by the German side for the Mexican Federal Police PFM in May 2014. This Federal Police (PFM) was founded in 2001 to combat drug trafficking and based on the model of the US Federal Police FBI (Neuber, 2014). What remains open, however, are what these “techniques and methods” are and how they are to be used in Mexico. Furthermore, there is a risk that corrupt police authorities will also benefit from such training.

II.2. German rifles in action against students in Iguala, Mexico

Zeit-Online reported in December 2013 that the German arms company Heckler & Koch has been exporting weapons to Mexico since 2006 with the approval of the federal government. These seem to have been used against the Iguala students. Despite an export ban to the state of Guerrero, 36 Heckler & Koch rifles are said to have been in the inventory of the Iguala local police (Supe, 2014).

In an interview with Mexico's Foreign Minister José Antonio Meade and the editors Denis Düttmann and Andrea Sosa on January 18, 2015 in Mexico City, the Mexican Foreign Minister stated that he had no knowledge of the company's G36 assault rifles seized by the Iguala police Heckler & Koch. When asked how Mexico intends to guarantee in future that German weapons will not be delivered to troubled regions, the Mexican Foreign Minister replied:

“Weapons and their controls are an issue of concern to Mexico and Germany alike. Mexico also supported the International Arms Trade Agreement in order to put in place mechanisms to prevent weapons from falling into the wrong hands. Mexico already has a very strict gun law, in contrast to our neighboring countries USA and Guatemala. "(Lüke, 2015)

III. Critical analysis

In the German Federal Government there are clear disagreements among the political parties about the conclusion and benefits of a "security agreement" between Germany and Mexico. In this chapter, the arguments of the proponents and critics of a "security agreement", such as the German Federal Government, the parties DIE LINKE, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and the German Human Rights Coordination Mexico are compared and their arguments are critically analyzed.

III.1. Disagreements in the German Bundestag - supporters and critics of the "security agreement"

If one follows the discussions about a "security agreement" in the German Bundestag, it turns out that the conservative parties, Christian-Democratic Union and Christian-Social Union, as well as the Social Democratic Party of Germany are advocating the conclusion of a "security agreement" with Mexico. Despite the demands of human rights organizations, such as the German Human Rights Coordination Mexico and the opposition party DIE LINKE, especially in view of the recent massacre in Mexico, to suspend plans for this agreement, the German government wants to continue to adhere to a "security agreement". Suspending plans for a “security agreement” at this point in time would put the government of Enrique Peña Nieto even more on the defensive (Neuber, 2014), according to the German government. In addition, the federal government is defending itself with the argument that Mexican police officers should only be trained at the state and federal level, but not at the corrupt, local level. This line of argument on the part of the federal government has failed completely, because according to the human rights organization Amnesty International, corruption, violence, torture and cooperation with criminal structures are deeply rooted not only at the local level, but at all levels of the Mexican state (Guevara Rosas, 2014). The federal government is therefore assumed to adhere to the "protective claim" that the problems can only be found with the local police. Equally inadequate is the argument of the Federal Foreign Office's Minister, Franz-Walter Steinmeier from the Social Democratic Party of Germany, who claims that Mexico and Germany could certainly cooperate because they share a common set of values ​​(Foreign Office, 2014).

The DIE LINKE party turns out to be an ‘opponent‘ of the “security agreement”. While the CDU / CSU party speaks of “cooperation in combating, preventing and investigating serious organized crime crimes” (CDU / CSU parliamentary group, 2013), supporters of the DIE LINKE party are of the opinion that Germany would agree to a “security agreement “Make an accomplice to violence and oppression (Ackerman, 2014). In view of the catastrophic human rights situation in Mexico, according to DIE LINKE there should be no “security agreement”. Arms exports should also be banned. Arms exports from Germany to Mexico are to be viewed very critically because, as explained in Chapter 2.2, weapons already delivered by the German company Heckler & Koch have caused enormous damage and were used in the massacre of the 43 student teachers. One can say that Germany has already become, to a certain extent, an “accomplice of violence and oppression”. A speech by Andrej Hunko, member of the DIE LINKE party, clearly shows the party's mistrust of the state ‘actors‘ in Mexico, as well as the party's reasons for rejecting the "security agreement":

“We are aware of torture, which human rights organizations describe as 'systematic, general and impunity-free practice'. The country suffers from a high murder rate, excess violence, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. At the same time, there is almost complete impunity for these crimes. Corruption is widespread and social divisions have widened. [...] It is precisely those authorities that are largely responsible for the dangerous situation of human rights defenders - be it through passivity or active persecution. I think one is wrong to believe if one sees reliable partners for cooperation in the security sector in this situation in the state actors "(Hunko, 2013)

Andrej Hunko has to agree on every point of this speech and his arguments can be supported by concrete examples. The "almost complete impunity" of which the party member speaks is also confirmed by Amnesty International. This warns of the gross shortcomings of the state system with an impunity rate of 98% (Amnesty International, 2012). The co-responsibility that Andrej Hunko ascribes to the authorities, be it through passivity or active persecution, can also be proven on the basis of facts. For example, it turned out that the mayor of Iguala and his wife, who have since been arrested, were the alleged instigators of this massacre. This clearly shows how deeply violent crime and corruption are anchored in state authorities. Amnesty International also points out that criminal gangs and drug cartels are responsible for the high number of deaths and kidnappings, but that these often “operate” in tacit agreement with government officials (Amnesty International, 2014). With regard to the shared responsibility of state authorities, the Mexican writer and journalist, Ana Lilia Pérez, based on her own research, says: "It happens that the officer you want to report a crime to is the one who committed it." (Schulz, 2012).

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[1] Mexico vía Berlin e.V. is a non-party, non-profit association and is dedicated to empirical and theoretical research, social, political and economic conditions in Germany and Mexico from a multidisciplinary, internationalist, critical-left perspective (Mexico vía Berlin e.V., 2011)

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