18 Cases of Torture in Chiapas to Be Presented to UN Rapporteur
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas – At least 18 cases of torture perpetrated by state and municipal police in the last 12 months of Manuel Velasco Coello’s government will be presented to Juan Méndez, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment, this Tuesday the 29th, when his working tour starts in the state. The international official will come to Tapachula as part of a visit throughout Mexico to learn about the allegations of documented torture by civil organizations and defenders of human rights, who say that this practice continues and that those responsible aren’t punished.
The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) said that it expects to meet on Wednesday with the rapporteur, who will also hold meetings with the state government. In particular, he will see the attorney general, Raciel López Salazar, also identified as the main orchestrator of some serious torture cases since 2010, when he took office.
Frayba has documented at least 18 cases of torture from March 2013 to March 2014. Of these, 15 were reported by men-one of them a minor- and 3 by women. According to the Center, at least 2 of the tortured people died in municipal prisons in Tapachula and Acala. The first was Carlos Alberto Trujillo Ramos, 48 years old, and the second was Rolando Pérez Cruiz, 21.
Other torture cases, according to Frayba, are that of Gabriel Domínguez Escobedo, arrested and tortured to death by 13 members of the Special Police of the Attorney General of Justice of the State of Chiapas (PGJ), and that of Miguel Ángel Rosette García, whom members of the same unit tortured in 2011 for the alleged robbery of the Orantes Constanzo family, the owner of the second-division soccer team, Guerreros [Warriors] de Chiapas. Audentino García Villafuerte and brothers Andrés and Josué López Hernández, were tortured in the prisons of Bochil, Huixtla, and Pichucalco, respectively, forcing them to plead guilty to a crime they didn’t commit.
On April 15th, Fraya said that in Chiapas, the practice of torture continues, including sophisticated methods to make people testify without leaving marks on the body. The tests have been obtained with the implementation of the Istanbul Protocol carried out by doctors and psychologists who are experts in the field.
The documented information “confirms the recurrence of torture as a method of criminal investigation, used by local, state, and federal police forces, as well as members of the Army and Navy,” said the organization.