Practice Relating to Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
Section C. Attacks against civilians
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section titled “Basic rules of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts”, states: “It is prohibited to make the civilian population as such or civilian persons the object of attack.”
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009), in a section titled “Basic rules of conduct in armed conflict”, states that “civilians … must not be attacked”.
At the CDDH, Mexico stated that it believed Article 46 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 51) to be so essential that it “cannot be the subject of any reservations whatsoever since these would be inconsistent with the aim and purpose of Protocol I and undermine its basis”.
In 2010, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, the permanent representative of Mexico stated:
We are dismayed and surprised by the grave events that took place along the coasts of the Mediterranean off the Gaza Strip today. We condemn in the strongest terms the armed attack carried out by the armed forces of Israel in international waters against the flotilla of civilian boats seeking to carry humanitarian aid to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. …
Attacks in armed conflict situations directed specifically against civilians … are serious violations of the norms and principles of international humanitarian law, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of … . They also constitute international crimes.