Human Rights Investigators Express Concerns over Mexico’s Torture Epidemic

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

Eleven worldwide human rights organizations wrote a letter to the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico dated March 9, 2017 calling on the adoption of the General Law on Torture that complies with international standards. The World Organization Against Torture, Association for the Prevention of Torture, and the Center for Legal and Social Studies are some of the organizations involved.

United Nations special rapporteur Juan E. Mendez visited Mexico from April 21 to May 2, 2014 to conduct a report on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading punishments. He visited prisons, detention centers, a psychiatric hospital, a social assistance center and a migrant holding center to assess occurring situations of torture or ill treatment by the state. The rapporteur received many claims of abuse from victims and their families, who said municipal, state, and federal police and the armed forces, inflicted the abuses. The claims proved to be credible when the rapporteur found disturbing similarities among each case. During arrests and in the hours following them, people claim to have been subject to electric shocks, asphyxiation with plastic bags, forced nudity, threats, and insults.

UN human rights investigators wrote a letter to the Mexican government on February 25, 2015 stating, “We also express serious concern over allegations that torture–which includes sexual violence and threats of sexual violence against relatives–and other mistreatment were designed to obtain forced and fabricated confessions, and that the use of these methods does not appear to be isolated.” Two years later, human rights advocates are still pushing for change.

There is no corporate media coverage on this issue as of March 16, 2017.

Sources:

“UN Torture Prevention Experts Urge Mexico to Focus More on the Fight against Impunity,” United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner, December 23 2016, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21058&LangID=E.

“Letter to Special Rapporteurs on Mexico General Law on Torture,” Human Rights Watch, August 30 2016, https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/08/30/letter-special-rapporteurs-mexico-general-law-torture.

“Open Letter to the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico,” Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), March 9, 2017, https://www.cejil.org/es/carta-abierta-camara-diputados-mexico#.

“Call for the Immediate Adoption of #AntiTortureLaw in Mexico That Meets International Standards,” Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, March 10 2017, http://rfkhumanrights.org/news/news/call-immediate-adoption-antitorturelaw-mexico-meets-international-standards/.

Student Researcher: Rebbeca Marroquin (University of Regina)

Faculty Evaluator: Patricia Elliott (University of Regina)