“Torture and Mistreatment Continue to Be Widespread in Mexico”, Juan E. Mendez
Amnesty International campaign against torture in Mexico
On 24 February, the current UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, presented the follow-up report on the mission carried out by his predecessor Juan E. Mendez in Mexico on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The report pointed out that “torture continues to be widespread on the part of security forces and investigators”; that suffocation, sexual violence, electric shocks, death threats, beatings, and psychological torture are “commonly used for obtaining information, confessions or as a method of punishment. To this is added a context of serious impunity, where the lack of investigation into these facts is the rule.”
In his assessment of the situation, the rapporteur stated that “organized crime is a challenge for the authorities and the population.” He commented that since 2006 and under the so-called “war against drug trafficking”, “militarization of public security remains as strategy.” He expressed concern about the “extremely vulnerability” of migrants by stating that “the detention of migrants by state agents is often violent and includes insults, threats and humiliations.”
The Rapporteur regretted to conclude in his report that since his visit two years ago the situation “has not changed”, that “torture and mistreatment are still widespread in Mexico.” He noted that the “elimination of this practice is a fundamental challenge and that is why it is important to enact the General Law on Torture, with provisions that comply with the highest international standards […] so that torture, enforced disappearances, the persecution of victims and defenders of human rights and impunity cease to be part of everyday life. “ He further requested from Mexico that there be no “exceptions to the rule of exclusion of evidence obtained through torture” in that law.