In July of 2011 the local authorities and the governments of Azerbaijan signed an agreement on the construction of the Azeri-Mexico Friendship park, which was to include a monument to Heydar Aliyev and Khojaly events, and the government of Azerbaijan was to finance the project for the ”improvement of the city”. The Representative of the Staff of the President of Mexico Francisco Solchaga Sonja, in his article on the ”Foreign Affairs Latinoamerica” magazine notes that in October and December of 2011, The Parliament called the Mexican government to oblige Armenia and Azerbaijan to end the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh issue and to punish the perpetrators of the Khojaly events. In this way, Mexico got involved in the conflict and what is even worse, supported Azerbaijan, while Mexicans did not even know where the Republic of Azerbaijan, Khojaly or Nagorno Karabakh is.
In the historical information of the region Solchaga, it is noted that in the early 20th century, the Armenians were living in the region and on the territory of the Tsarist Russia and the Ottoman Empire, where they were committed to Genocide in 1915-1920. Thus today Armenians are concentrated mainly in the territory of the Republic of Armenia, although there is an influential diaspora in the US, France and Russia. The author also pointed out that Turkey refuses to recognize and to take responsibility for the Armenian Genocide, which caused diplomatic tensions between the two countries as well as between Turkey and the European countries. As the author writes, the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is the continuation of the confrontation of Nakhichevan and Nagorno-Karabakh since the 1918-1920. After the annexation of the region to the Soviet Union, the conflict temporarily stopped, although the circumstances triggering its onset, preserved. The Soviet authorities recognized Nakhichevan and Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan. Decades later predominantly ethnic Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh population began to demand greater autonomy, but Azerbaijan did not agree with it.
During 1987 there have been various cases of ethnic violence, and when the Nagorno-Karabakh parliament voted overwhelmingly to join the Armenian SSR in February 1988, began the forced deportation of Armenians from Azerbaijan. In March, the Supreme Council sent the troops of Internal Ministry troops, but the violence did not stop, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Nagorno-Karabakh declared its independence. The conflict escalated into open war between the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (at the informal support of Armenia) and Azerbaijan.
In order to promote the negotiation process on the settlement of the conflict, there has been formed the OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, France and Russia. In May 1994, the Bishkek Protocol was signed which was the end of he war. De facto, it takes control of the main part of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions of Nagorno-Karabakh, the author writes, drawing parallels with the situation in Kosovo.
The author also notes that the war left serious humanitarian consequences. Among the atrocities committed against the Armenians, cruelty allocated pogroms in Sumgait and Baku, as well as the Operation “Ring”, when Azerbaijani forces laid siege to the Nagorno-Karabakh in 1991.
Khojaly tragedy is an important issue, since Azerbaijan accuses Armenians in genocide. According to the “Helsinki Watch” (now «Human Rights Watch» -. Ed.). Azerbaijanis in Khojaly had artillery and rocket launchers, which were used for bombing Stepanakert – the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. Khojaly as Stepanakert, was a civilian point, but the Azeris have turned it into a military site, turning it into a firing point. According to the position of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, they warned population of Khohaly about the planned operation and asked civilians to leave their homes, even though, according to testimony gathered by the “Helsinki Watch”, Azerbaijani population did not think that Armenians occupied the village and remained in their houses. However, at dawn on February 26, 1992, the Armenians almost completely surrounded Khojaly, leaving free the corridor in the direction of the mountain pass, so people could go, and then the attack began. Residents who left the village came under fire outside. Lists of victims vary by source, from 160 people (estimates of several human rights NGOs) to over 600 (the number of the Azerbaijani government) “, – the author notes.
The Armenian side also refers to the statements of the former President of Azerbaijan, Ayaz Mutalibov, who noted that the events can be triggered by paramilitary forces National Front of Azerbaijan (the political party of the Heydar Aliyev), which prevented the transfer of the civilian population in order to provoke a massacre, and thereby overthrow Mutalibov, which happened in the following days.
Azerbaijan considers the incident as “genocide”. However, the «Helsinki Watch» found that among Azerbaijanis leaving Khojalu were armed soldiers, dressed in uniforms. “In other words, at least, the Azerbaijanis could be complicit in the tragedy, using citizens as shields,” – writes Solchaga, pointing also to the fact that, according to an expert on the Caucasus Thomas de Waal, the incident was the result of confusion at the time of the withdrawal, and not up of population destruction (genocide). In addition, according to the testimony of a Czech journalist Dana Mazalova, the incident could manipulate it to seem more serious. Citing the example of the situation in the Balkans, the author notes that the International Court of Justice ruled that the incident between Croats and Serbs were not genocide, because their goal is not the destruction and expulsion. Despite this, Azerbaijan’s foreign policy has set a goal to achieve recognition of the events in Khojaly during the Karabakh war as “genocide”, forgetting that they are also committed atrocities against Armenians.
Thus, in contrast to the Parliament, the Government of Mexico adheres to a neutral position on the Karabakh conflict and supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group. It is noted that supporting Azerbaijan’s position, Mexico has also soured relations with Armenia, which became clear when the Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian during his visit in 2012, said that the actions of the Parliament of Mexico and the mayor of Mexico City contradict the position of the international community as expressed by the Minsk Group and have a negative impact on the Armenian-Mexican relations. On the other hand, Mexico has also soured relations with Azerbaijan, as a result of just protests, was forced to remove the monument to Heydar Aliyev from Park of Friendship and the word “genocide” from monument to the victims of Khojaly. Although the threat of Azerbaijan to cease the ties did not become a reality, the conflict with the State may have certain consequences.
The author accused parliament and mayor of Mexico City in the political short-sightedness, because before making such decisions one should consult with the foreign ministry of the country, so as not to spoil the image of the state.
“They let themselves to be fooled and were willing to risk the international image of Mexico in exchange of visit to Baku, a little caviar and $ 7 millions for the improvement of the city, not even realizing the consequences,” – the author concludes.