However, in September 2000, two short months before Fox met with the UN officials, Mexico expelled 40 Italian human rights observers and banned them from returning to the country after branding them "professional provocateurs" for their visit to a Zapatista rebel village in the state of Chiapas (Neilson, 2000). In his presidential campaign, Fox had pledged that his government would usher in a new era of human rights in Mexico when he took office in December 2000. Fox claimed that criticism from human rights groups would always be welcome and that his would be a transparent and responsible government committed to human rights and accountable to its own people and the world community (Fox vows toa, 2000).
Included in Fox's Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations was an agreement to achieve substantial advances on 45 different human rights. Among these rights are protections of individual rights are freedom of expression, due process, rights for women, political and electoral rights, and socioeconomic rights to a decent job and basic social welfare. The commitment was expressed in the creation of the National Program for the Promotion and Strengthening of Human Rights. Attendant upon fulfillment of the obligations accepted by the Fox government are technical assistance and other services provided by the United Nations (