"Mexico has the obligation to establish a regulatory framework on official advertising that contains clear rules," the UN said.
The United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) are urging Mexico to reconsider a new bill for government advertising in favor of media independence and expression.
An official statement released Wednesday expressed deep concern over the loose structure of a new legislation which threatens to give federal authorities an unfair advantage in their official advertising.
IACHR Special Rapporteur for the Freedom of Expression, Edison Lanza, together with UN representative David Kaye said, "Members of the government of Mexico use billions of pesos a year in official advertising, but the lack of regulation constitutes a serious risk for the independence of the media and violates the right to information.
"Mexico has the obligation to establish a regulatory framework on official advertising that contains clear rules about its objectives, allocation criteria and procedures in order to prevent any discriminatory or arbitrary use of these funds.”
The pair of delegates stated that the law should clearly prohibit official advertising for electoral or campaigning causes as well as protecting the rights and freedoms of the media all the while establishing mechanisms for external oversight.
Liability clauses and penalties should also be included in the new legislation to ensure guidelines are observed, the two experts said. They reminded Mexican congressmen that the bill ordered by the Supreme Court Justice in November should be as “historic” as it promised to be late last year.
"The lack of an effective system of accountability due to non-compliance with the law is a concern. The law must have procedures of responsibility, sanctions and appropriate resources,” the letter said.
The hasty legislative approval on April 10, lacked significant “meaningful consultation” in regards to the interests of the public and civil society, the international organizations state. The human rights advocates encouraged Mexico to reevaluate the legislation and take into consideration the needs of the people and uphold the code of compliance according to international human rights laws.