En el informe, el Relator Especial concluye, de manera alarmante, que la tortura es generalizada en México y, en general, llevada a cabo por policías municipales, estatales y federales, agentes ministeriales estatales y federales, y por las fuerzas armadas. Normalmente comienza desde que el sujeto es detenido hasta que es puesto a disposición de un juez y en la mayoría de los casos esta es utilizada como castigo o como parte de la investigación. Las salvaguardas son débiles y las condiciones de detención no siguen los estándares internacionales en materia de derechos humanos siendo el hacinamiento el principal problema. Es por esto que el Relator Especial recomendó al Gobierno de México un número de medidas a implementar y pidió a la comunidad internacional ayudar al Gobierno en su lucha para eliminar la tortura y los malos tratos, revertir la impunidad y garantizar la reparación integral de las víctimas.
VISIT TO MEXICO – APRIL – MAY 2014
May 3, 2014 – The Special Rapporteur’s official visit to Mexico, which began on April 21, 2014, concluded Friday, May 2, 2014, with a press conference during which the Special Rapporteur presented preliminary observations and findings about the visit. The event in Mexico City, which was attended by many journalists, was broadcast live and is now available here. The Special Rapporteur also gave an interview with CNN Espanol’s Carmen Aristegui, which is now available to view online.
In this preliminary observations, the Special Rapporteur revealed that torture is common and widespread amongst all levels of authority, from the military to local and state police. Torture typically occurs in the initial stages between a detainee’s arrest and appearance before a judge, and include beatings with fists, feet and sticks, asphyxiation with plastics bags, and electric shock. It is used in particular as a means to extract confessions and obtain information, and regularly occurs in police vehicles or illegal hideouts away from police stations or jails.
During his visit, the Special Rapporteur met with civil society, victims, and high-level government authorities in different parts of the country, including the Federal District, Nuevo Leon, Chiapas and Baja California. Read the press release detailing the Special Rapporteur’s activities during the visit, an English-language news article from the Associated Press, and a Spanish-language article from CNN Espanol about the visit here.
Many NGOs that took part in the meetings compiled and presented in-depth information for the Special Rapporteur, which can be accessed here. Some of the NGOs included the Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Francisco de Vitoria OP, Fundación para la Justicia, Ciudadanos en Apoyo a los Derechos Humanos, and Instituto para la Seguridad y la Democracia, AC-Insyde, among many others. The NGO Ciudadanos en Apoyo a los Derechos Humanos (CADHAC) created this video on the occasion of the visit, which features statements about torture, ill-treatment, and the human rights situation on the ground in general, by members of local civil society and by the Special Rapporteur. Watch the video here!
Below you can find background information on the purpose of the visit, daily updates about the Special Rapporteur’s in-country activities, and links to information from local media sources.
ABOUT THE VISIT: DAILY ACTIVITIES
DAY 1: Mexico City: The Special Rapporteur and his team kicked off the Mexico visit on Monday, April 21 with a busy program of activities in the capital. The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the visit in a statement, and local news outlets provided extensive coverage at the start of the visit. On his first day in Mexico City, the Special Rapporteur met with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior, and the National Security Commission, marking the start of a full schedule that includes at least 25 official meetings with more than 100 Federal and State government officials. The Special Rapporteur visited the Supreme Court of Justice in the afternoon, where he met its President, Mr. Juan Silva Meza, and other judicial officers. Before the end of the first day, the Special Rapporteur and his team also met with members of the National Victims Commission and with representatives form local NGOs working on issues of torture and ill-treatment.
Follow us on Twitter @antitorture_SRT for the most up-to-date news as the visit continues!
DAY 2: Mexico City: On their second day in Mexico, the Special Rapporteur and his team resumed a series of meetings with high-level government officials and civil society in Mexico City. The day began with meetings with Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, representatives from the Federal District’s Attorney General’s Office, and members of the Federal Judicial Council. The activities continued with a meeting between the Special Rapporteur and Truth Commission for the State of Guerrero. In the afternoon, he held extensive consultations with NGOs from the states of Michoacan, Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Morelos, Campeche, and Guerrero, which reported on the human rights situation on the ground as well as on cases and allegations of torture. The second day of the visit concluded with the team’s first visit to a detention center.
DAY 3: Mexico City: The Special Rapporteur’s busy third day in Mexico City began with working meetings with the Secretary of Health and the Director of the Forensic Institute for the Federal District. The Special Rapporteur has consistently emphasized the critical role played by medical professionals and forensic experts in detecting and document signs of torture and ill-treatment. In the afternoon, he met with Deputies and Senators at the Mexican Congress, and with members of the the Human Rights Commission for the Federal District. Later, he joined the President of the Supreme Court to launch a training course focusing on the Mexico’s domestic implementation of international legal standards on torture and ill-treatment. The day ended with a visit by the team to a second detention center.
DAYS 4 & 5: As the visit entered its fourth day on Thursday, April 24, the Special Rapporteur and his team traveled outside the Federal District. After visiting a detention facility detention in Tepic, the Special Rapporteur attended a conference in Nuevo Vallarta alongside Mexico’s Attorney General and more than 20 other regional Attorney Generals. On Friday, the Special Rapporteur returned to the Federal District, where he held meetings with officers from the Ministries of Defense and the Navy, and visited other places of dentition. The fifth day of the visit ended with a meeting with the President of the National Commission for Human Rights.
DAYS 6 & 7: The visit continued throughout the weekend, as the Special Rapporteur and his team continued their extensive engagement with civil society in different parts of Mexico. On Saturday, the Special Rapporteur held meetings with civil society and victims and and visited two places of detention in the Federal District and in the Estado de México, before traveling to Monterrey, Nuevo León, on Sunday. In Monterrey, the Special Rapporteur met with victims and NGOs from the states of Coahuila, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas y Nuevo León, which reported on specific cases and the situation regarding torture and ill-treatment on the ground generally. The team also visited more places of dentition in the region on Sunday.
DAYS 8 & 9: The Special Rapporteur’s second week in Mexico began in Nuevo León with a busy day of meetings with the State’s Governor, Attorney General, Human Rights Commission, and the President of Nuevo León’s Supreme Court of Justice. The team then traveled South to Chiapas, where they visited an Immigration Detention Center in Tapachula on Tuesday. Later that day, the Special Rapporteur also met with local government representatives and members of the Human Rights Commission for the State of Chiapas.
DAYS 10 & 11: Before traveling back to Mexico City in preparation for the Friday, May 2 press conference in Mexico City, the Special Rapporteur and his team visited the state of Baja California. During their final stop outside the capital, the Special Rapporteur and his team met with local civil society, human rights attorneys, representatives from the State Attorney General’s office, and other local government officials.
The purpose of the Special Rapporteur’s to assess the situation and identify challenges regarding torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the country. During the visit, the Special Rapporteur intends to discuss and assess the implementation of the new criminal procedures legislation, coerced confessions before national courts, and the use of ‘arraigo’ detention, among other aspects relating to his mandate. The Special Rapporteur and his team will travel to several regions, including Mexico City, Nuevo Leon, Chiapas and Baja California, where they will visit prisons, police stations, interrogation centres, juvenile and women’s facilities, as well as psychiatric institutions and immigration detention facilities, in order to examine the treatment and living conditions of all persons deprived of their liberty. Throughout the visit, the Special Rapporteur will also meet with relevant authorities, the judiciary, national human rights institutions, civil society, international and regional organisations, victims and their families. “I look forward to engaging in a constructive manner with key decision makers and leaders in civil society to help the authorities uphold the rule of law, promote accountability, fulfill the right to reparations for victims, and to ensure that alleged perpetrators are held responsible in conformity with international law,” the Special Rapporteur said ahead of the visit.
Daily updates will be available here throughout the visit! For the latest information, also follow us on Twitter @antitorture_SRT!
* The UN Information Center in Mexico is located at Montes Urales Nte. 440, Lomas de Chapultepec, Miguel Hidalgo, 11000 Mexico City, Federal District.