Mexico: Declassification of the Three Armed Conflicts Involving Drug Cartels on RULAC

12 December 2022

Our Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts online portal (RULAC) classified the armed violence opposing the Mexican armed forces to the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG, Jalisco Cartel New Generation) and to the Sinaloa Cartel, as well as the armed violence between these two gangs as non-international armed conflicts (NIACs).

According to this classification – based on the level of violence and on the level of organization of the drug cartels – international humanitarian law (IHL) applied to these clashes in addition to international human rights law (IHRL) and war crimes could be committed.

‘This was the only case on RULAC where armed violence involving drug cartels was considered as amounting to NIACs’ explains Dr Chiara Redaelli, Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.

Challenges in Attributing Acts of Violence to Specific Drug Cartels

This declassification does not mean that the violence decreased throughout the country, that there are fewer victims or that the overall situation improved.

‘While the armed violence between the government and the drug cartels, as well as between cartels themselves, remains high, it has become increasingly challenging to attribute these instances of violence and clashes to specific armed groups. As we cannot attribute these acts of violence to a specific drug cartel, we cannot conclude that the intensity of violence’s requirement is met, and, therefore, conclude with certainty that these three NIACs are still ongoing’ explains Dr Redaelli.

‘This declassification does not leave a protection gap. Indeed, IHRL continues applying to these clashes. This means that the applicable framework is the law enforcement paradigm as opposed to IHL’ she adds.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Yemen,  Taiz, Salah district. A destroyed building. News

Mastering International Law in Armed Conflict: Explore our Online Short Courses

8 September 2023

For the 2023–2024 academic year, we offer 16 online short courses covering legal issues and topics relevant to armed conflicts.

Read more

An LLM class News

Apply to our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights!

27 November 2023

Applications for the 2024–2025 academic year of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights are open. They will run until 26 January 2024 for applications with a scholarship and until 24 February 2024 for applications without a scholarship.

Read more

Logo of the Atlas Network Event

Women's Perspectives on a Career in International Law: Navigating Humanitarian Negotiations

7 March 2024, 12:30-13:30

This event, co-organized with the ATLAS network, will feature women with diverse experiences and career paths in international law, specifically emphasizing their involvement in humanitarian negotiations.

Read more

Mali, Ménaka Region, Tassassat village. In this village, the ICRC has installed a watering place to support the villagers who are affected by the combined effects of conflict and climate change. Event

The Weaponizing of Water in Contemporary Armed Conflicts

27 February 2024, 12:15-14:00

This IHL Talk, organized with the Geneva Water Hub, will discuss the weaponization of water in contemporary armed conflicts and the importance of IHL and human rights law in preventing and mitigating the consequences on civilians.

Read more

Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

25 April - 17 May 2024

This online short course discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.

Read more

Screenshot of the RULAC webpage Project

Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts (RULAC)

Started in May 2007

The Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts project (RULAC) is a unique online portal that identifies and classifies all situations of armed violence that amount to an armed conflict under international humanitarian law (IHL). It is primarily a legal reference source for a broad audience, including non-specialists, interested in issues surrounding the classification of armed conflicts under IHL.

Read more

Computer screen with warning: civilian infrastucture: do not attack Project

The Digitalization of Armed Conflict

Started in September 2020

This project will explore humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts and the extent to which these needs are addressed by international law, especially international humanitarian law.

Read more

Cover Page of Research Brief Publication

Environmental Human Rights as a Tool in Early Warning and Conflict Prevention The Role of the Human Rights Council

published on January 2024

Erica Harper, Baïna Ubushieva

Read more

Cover page of the publication Publication

Delivering the Right to Peace: Towards a Reinforced Role of the Human Rights Council in the UN's Peace and Security Framework

published on October 2023

Erica Harper, Adam Day

Read more