dorset chiapas solidarity

June 27, 2015

In Mexico Complaints of Torture Increased 600% in 10 Years – Amnesty International

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In Mexico Complaints of Torture Increased 600% in 10 Years – Amnesty International

 Members of Amnesty International protest against torture yesterday  in front of the Secretariat of Foreign Relations 

Members of Amnesty International protest against torture yesterday
 in front of the Secretariat of Foreign Relations

Alma E. Muñoz

La Jornada, 27th June, 2015
In the past 10 years, complaints of torture in Mexico have increased by 600 percent. Impunity has increased as well; proof of this is that between 2005 and 2013 the Attorney General’s Office only managed to get seven convictions for committing this crime, said Amnesty International (AI).

On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture…AI members demonstrated in front of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to demand an end to torture and the appearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa normal school students who were disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero.

AI noted that the practice of torture is widespread and persistent in the country, and the government has turned a blind eye to it. According to the agency’s director in Mexico, Perseo Quiroz, the above figures highlight the prevailing impunity that favours a repeating pattern……Perseo Quiroz said that his organization continues to receive reports of human rights violations committed by police and security forces, including arbitrary arrests, torture and forced disappearances. He questioned that, despite the increase of torture, the government has not put into operation prevention protocols, nor has it exercised sanctions on public officials who commit this crime.

He said the training of officials is only a minimum step in addressing this serious problem. “Torture will not be eradicated if its practitioners are not accountable to justice and the victims are not compensated for the damage caused by their suffering,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Mexican League for the Defence of Human Rights also held a rally outside the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, protesting that the Mexican government minimizes the severity of torture and enforced disappearance in the country. Its leader, Adrian Ramirez, said: “We are facing the gravest human rights crisis in the entire history of Mexico.

He maintained that the level of torture increased beginning in 2006, when the drug war of former President Felipe Calderon began. “As a result of this war, continued by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, we are reaching about 200,000 dead, more than 60 thousand detained and disappeared and thousands and thousands of victims of torture,” he said.

In addition, he said, there are “prisons full of suspects or presumed juvenile delinquents who are accused of committing serious crimes. Also, we take note that the government minimizes the numbers, and even disqualifies assaults and attacks on international activists.”

During the AI protest in front of the entrance to the PGR, a member of the theatre group Art Action 2012 stripped off his clothes and with a scalpel made a cut on his forehead and chest as a sign of protest over the lack of results in curbing this practice and finding the 43 Ayotzinapa students. Activists also made a performance, placing bundles on the ground to simulate the bodies of tortured or disappeared persons.

Among the group was Angel Amílcar Colon Quevedo, a native of Honduras, who said he was tortured after being arrested in March 2009 in Fresno de Tijuana, Baja California. He stated that local police handed him over to state and then federal authorities who accused him of being a Colombian drug lord.

To mark the day, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) issued a statement asking the Mexican government to address the recommendations issued by international organizations to investigate and punish cases of torture. The Commission said it was making its statement so that in the country “acts such as those that occurred in Tlatlaya and Iguala are not repeated.”

It called on society and the authorities to establish a common front to combat this scourge and strengthen a culture of respect for fundamental rights. The national body invited authorities and society to reflect together on all measures to prevent and eradicate this harmful practice that degrades both those who receive and those who perpetrate it. It also expressed its solidarity with all victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

Translated by Reed Brundage



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