November 17, 2016
More than 200,000 signatures in favor of tougher penalties for dog fighters in Mexico submitted to Justice Commission
More than 200,000 people signed an online petition by Humane Society International/México, a leading international animal protection organization, to ban and criminalize dogfighting in Mexico.
In July, lawmakers from the Citizens’ Movement, the National Action Party and the Green Environmental Party submitted two bills to the Justice Commission for amendments to the Federal Penal Code that would impose penalties on anyone who organizes or participates in dog fights. The House of Representatives’ Justice Commission has yet to hand down opinions on the bills submitted to ban and criminalize dog fighting.
At a press conference today in the House of Representatives, HSI/Mexico Executive Director Antón Aguilar and Federal Congresswoman Verónica Delgadillo, who is promoting one of the bills, called on the Chairman of the Justice Commission, Deputy Álvaro Ibarra Hinojosa, to pass an opinion on the bills as soon as possible to allow legislators to vote on the bills before the end of the legislative period. To support the bills, HSI submitted the 200,000-plus signatures collected on hsi.org/nopeleasdeperros and a letter to the same effect signed by dozens of national and international animal protection organizations.”
“The Federal Justice Commission urgently needs to pass a favorable opinion on these bills for the criminalization of dogfighting. Time is running out and it would be unacceptable for these initiatives to be shelved. Dog fights are cruel, highly unpopular and have been linked to organized criminal activities,” said Aguilar.
There is broad, grassroots support for the criminalization of this activity. According to a survey by Parametría, 99 percent of Mexicans are opposed to dog fights and 85 percent say their organizers should be penalized.
Drugs and illegal firearms are often found during police raids on such events and the activity has been connected with child pornography networks and the trafficking of people. Verónica Flores, director of AGAPE, an organization that combats human trafficking, joined the campaign to have dog fighting classed as a federal offense.
Congresswoman Delgadillo said: “The problem is that while dog fighting is banned by most state laws, the language of this legislation tends to be ambiguous and these are deemed administrative as opposed to criminal offenses. In the case of Oaxaca, this state has no animal protection law at all. Amendments to the Federal Penal Code would place a de facto federal ban on dogfighting, which would be classed a criminal offense and incur the corresponding penalties.”
HSI launched its campaign against dog fighting in July of this year in the presence of Mexico City Public Safety Secretary Hiram Almeida, Environmental Attorney Miguel Ángel Cancino, Congresswoman Verónica Delgadillo, the civil society organization Consejo Ciudadano and actors from the Netflix series “Club de Cuervos”.
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