Practice Relating to Rule 59. Improper Use of the Distinctive Emblems of the Geneva Conventions
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention I, states: “The necessary measures must be taken to prevent and repress any misuse of these distinctive signs [i.e. the red cross or red crescent]. Deliberate misuse of these signs is a grave breach of the Convention.”
In a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention II, the manual states: “The High Contracting Parties must take the measures necessary for the prevention and repression, at all times, of any abuse of these distinctive signs [i.e. the red cross or red crescent]”.
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009) states: “Do not use the emblems of the medical services to shield combatants.”
Mexico’s Emblem Law (2006) states:
The emblem of the red cross, as well as the designation “Red Cross”, can only be used in conformity with the purposes set out in the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the Additional Protocols and any other regulation issued by the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
The Law also states:
Article 19. The Ministry of Government is the competent authority to monitor compliance with this law and, when appropriate, to impose administrative sanctions for the use of the emblem or designation of “Red Cross” by persons or entities that, according to this law, are not entitled nor authorized to use them.
. Any person who uses, without authorization, the emblem of the red cross, the distinctive signs, the designation “Red Cross” or any other [sign or designation constituting an] imitation that can create confusion with the protected [Red Cross] emblem … will be sanctioned with a fine … , without prejudice to the application of sanctions provided by the relevant criminal legislation.
The Law also states:
The term “Red Cross” used in this law to make reference to the emblem or to the designation shall be understood as referring analogously to the emblem of the red crescent and to the designation “Red Crescent”, as well as to other emblems and designations provided for in international legal instruments to which Mexico is a party and which have the same use, function and purpose as provided for and regulated by international humanitarian law.