UNITED MEXICAN STATES: Mexico must face up and investigate widespread torture after scathing UN report

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20 Mar 2015
[International Secretariat]

A new United Nations report detailing how torture is widespread among Mexico’s police and security forces must prompt the authorities to address this sickening practice once and for all, said Amnesty International today.

The report from Juan E. Méndez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, was presented to the UN
Human Rights Council today.  It outlines how officials in Mexico often fail to investigate the complaints of torture victims and forensic doctors working for the government often ignore signs of torture.

“This vital and scathing report from a top UN expert on torture highlights a culture of impunity and brutality that we have been campaigning about for years. President Enrique Peña Nieto cannot possibly plead ignorance on this issue. Instead, he must accept and act on all the UN recommendations laid out in the Special Rapporteur’s report,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director Amnesty International.

“Police and soldiers have regularly turned to torture to punish or extract false confessions or information from detainees in its so-called War on Drugs. Frequently, victims are forced to sign declarations under torture and in many cases are convicted solely on the basis of those statements.  When medical forensic examinations are practised, they usually fall short of international standards.”

Amnesty International is calling for the government to ensure that forensic officials provide prompt, impartial and thorough examinations to anyone who alleges torture.  It is also calling on the authorities to accept forensic reports by independent experts as valid evidence in court cases.

“The investigations into allegations of torture in Mexico are riddled with flaws.  Internationally agreed guidelines such as the Istanbul Protocol on how to investigate torture are routinely ignored and often victims have to wait months or years to be examined. Documenting torture is the first step to break the wall of impunity,” said Erika Guevara Rosas.

9 March 2015

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