Security Force Monitor works in partnership with human rights organizations, investigative journalists and litigators to reconstruct the organizational structure, command personnel and chain of command, geographical footprint and operations of security and defence forces implicated in human rights abuses.
Our partners include the Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, MNEMONIC (and the Syrian Archive), Amnesty International, amongst others.
Our partnerships can be public, or private and confidential to reflect the nature of the joint undertaking.
Below, you can read what some of our partners have said about working with us.
Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH): Communique to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court
In Mexico, there is evidence that is not contested that hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, tortured, enforced disappeared, internally displaced. But what we are lacking in Mexico are the names of the persons responsible for those abuses. We don’t know how many of these crimes have been committed by public servants in performance of their duties. We don’t know how many were committed by criminal groups with aquisistance with national, state or local actors. SFM is helping us to identify the names of the perpetrators and the structure of the state agencies committing those crimes. And with that SFM is filling a really important gap in evidence in Mexico.
With the information that SFM provides us we are opening new avenues of accountability: we are preparing criminal notices for universal jurisdiction, communiques to the International Criminal Court and other accountability mechanisms. Our collaboration with SFM has opened up new lines of investigation that we can pursue with confidence. A great deal of the information SFM has created is new to the Comisión – not just the information that is the basis for the chains of command and structures, and commanders – and new because it is created through new research methods.José Guevara Bermúdez
Former Executive Director, Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos
Professor, Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala
Member, The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Security Force Monitor partnered with Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH) to reconstruct from existing public records the command structure and operations of the Mexican Army in the Mexican State of Chihuhua between 2008 and 2010. CMDPDH’s resulting communique to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court alleges that the the army committed crimes against humanity.
Our full dataset about the Mexican security and defence forces and their connections to documented human rights abuses is published on WhoWasInCommand.com. We’ve published more information about our partnership with CMDPDH on our blog.
Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism: The Uncounted Dead of Duterte’s Drug War
The knowledge and expertise of the Security Force Monitor was crucial to our investigation of police abuses in the Philippine war on drugs. With the Monitor’s help, we built a database of police killings, mapped those killings, and figured out the commanders of the police stations where these took place. Their analysis helped our reporting on the ground when we visited communities which were the sites of so much bloodshed. It also helped us understand the command structure, allowing us to frame questions for the police from the data we gathered. With the Monitor’s help, we were able to show which officers and commands were responsible for the killings and also to find geographical and other patterns in police anti-drug operations.Sheila Coronel
Director, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism
Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Security Force Monitor partnered with Sheila Coronel, David Mora and Mariel Padilla from the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism to investigate drug-related killings in the Philippines. Their investigation – The Uncounted Dead of Duterte’s Drug War – appeared in the Atlantic in 2019.
We helped by providing contextual information on the Philippine National Police as well as assisting with the review of information related to killings which were publicly reported in the media. Your can read more about this partnership here and use our dataset about the Philippines National Police on WhoWasInCommand.com.
Cadena de Mando: hard data on Mexico’s security forces
The Security Force Monitor has made a significant contribution to our work. Our team is currently working on the second publication of Cadena de Mando and the Monitor has been supporting our work and helping our investigations by giving us “hard data” on the Mexican security forces. This data is very much needed as most of our investigation relies on testimonies, which tend to be highly descriptive and lack of a more comprehensive context analysis. The Monitor’s research allows us to move up the Army’s chain of command to understand the dynamics and context in which human rights violations have been committed by the armed forces.Cadena de Mando
We partnered with the investigative team that produced “Cadena de Mando” to provide and update to their critical investigation of the Mexican security forces. The original publication “Cadeno de Mando” is still available in archived form and our work informed subsequent publications by this team.