National: International organizations conclude observation mission on torture in Mexico

June 10, 2013

logoOn 31 May, the Global Organization against Torture (OMCT) and Christian Action for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT) concluded an observation mission toward the end of investigating the recommendations released by the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) directed to Mexico in December 2012.  Upon concluding their mission, the organizations denounced that the Mexican government had not observed the 72 recommendations released by the CAT.  Andrea Mera, director of OMCT, and Anne Boucher (ACAT) carried out an observation-mission to the states of Chihuahua and Guerrero as well as Mexico City, where they met with state and federal authorities, civil organizations, and victims of torture, from 26 to 31 May.

In a press conference, Meraz recalled that one of the principal concerns expressed by the CAT has to do with the high number of disappearances in Mexico, and that while it may be premature to judge the special office created by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) with only 12 Public Ministry officials, “there are very few elements and resources assigned to such a large problem.”  Boucher added that during their visit, they found it highly disconcerting that one of the principal recommendations made by the CAT has not been followed, particularly in the question of the elimination of community control (arraigo).

For more information (in Spanish):
México debe aumentar voluntad política y acciones concretas para frenar la tortura (OMCT y ACAT, 31 de mayo de 2013)

México necesita voluntad política para frenar la tortura (Centro ProDH, 3 de junio de 2013)

Incumple México con recomendaciones del Comité contra la Tortura (Proceso, 3 de junio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: UN Committee against Torture expresses grave concern for the practice of torture in Mexico (9 November 2012)

National: Amnesty International presents report regarding use of torture in Mexico (19 October 2012)

National: International judges report on conclusions of the observation of state of justice in Mexico (12 October 2012)

Chiapas: Presentation of report on torture in Chiapas “From Cruelty to Cynicism” (2 July 2012)

The OMCT condemns torture in Chiapas (18 August 2011)


Guerrero: Torres reappears with signs of torture

December 29, 2008

digna-ochoa2

Digna Ochoa y Placido [Source: Amnesty International]

On December 13 2008, Javier Torres Cruz, from the community of La Morena in the municipality of Petatlán, Guerrero, was able to escape his kidnappers. According to the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), during the 10 days in which Torres was missing, he was blindfolded and suffered beating and torture. The Urgent Action put out by Amnesty International states that upon his reappearance, he showed signs of “contusions and bruises, especially on his hands and continued to suffer abdominal pains.” According to Torres’ family members, it is most likely that he was being held by members of the Mexican Army.

It is important to mention that Javier Torres Cruz is a member of the Ecologist Organization of the Sierra of Coyuca and Petatlán (Organización Ecologista de la Sierra de Coyuca y Petatlán), a witness in the case of human rights defender Digna Ochoa y Placido, and has previously denounced being accosted by the military, police and armed and hooded civilians on several occasions. On November 13, 2008, 100 soldiers from the 19th Batallion of the Mexican Army entered his community and entered several homes in search of Torres and his brothers. In addition “they threatened, struck and prodded women and children with their weapons.”

More information:

Document – Mexico: Further information on possible disappearance/fear for safety: Javier Torres Cruz (AU, 18/12/08)

Guerrero: Key witness in the Digna Ochoa y Plácido case, Javier Torres Cruz, disappears (SIPAZ, 15/12/08)

More information in Spanish:

Seguimiento al caso Javier Torres Cruz, OMCT (19/12/2008)

Denuncia pública, CCTI, ANAD y Familiares (18/12/2008)

Golpeado y con huellas de tortura aparece el ecologista Javier Torres, La Jornada (16/12/2008)


Guerrero: Key witness in the Digna Ochoa y Plácido case, Javier Torres Cruz, disappears

December 15, 2008

petatlan

According to an Urgent Action from the World Organization Against Torture, December 3, Javier Torres Cruz disappeared while on route to visit his sister Agustina Torres Cruz in Petatlán from his own community of La Morena. Family members began looking for Torres after a telephone conversation between he and his siter was abruptly dropped, however they were unable to find either Torres or his vehicle.

Torres Cruz is a member of the Ecologist Organization of the Coyuca and Petatlán Sierra in addition to being one of the principle witnesses for the Attorney General of the Federal District [Mexico City] (PGJDF, Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal) in their case regarding the death of lawyer and human rights defender Digna Ochoa y Plácido. Last year Torres Cruz testified along with his uncle Isaías Torres Rosas that the ex mayor of Petatlán and major landowner Rogaciano Alva Álvarez had ordered three gunmen to kill Digna Ochoa on October 19, 2001. Due to this testimony, the PGJDF recently opted to reopen the case. Isaías Torres Rosas was subsequently murdered in January of this year leaving Torres Cruz the sole remaining witness in the Ochoa case.

It is worth mentioning that on November 13, 2008, Torres Cruz’ community of La Morena was subject to a military operation consisting of 100 military personnel. According to several eyewitnesses, the same Rogaciano Alva Álvarez was present at the operation along with a group of armed civilians. The armed group remained in the community until the following morning. According the Mexican daily, La Jornada, the lawyer representing the family of Digna Ochoa, Manuel Fuentes Muñiz, pointed out that it is quite likely that Rogaciano Alva Álvarez is implicated in the disappearance of Javier Torres Cruz.

More information:

UA 336/08: Javier Torres Cruz (m), aged 28 (AI, 11/12/08)

More information in Spanish:

AU: MEX 111208 Presunta desaparición forzada/Temor por integridad personal (OMCT, 11/12/08)

AU: Desaparición forzada de Javier Torres Cruz (CCTI, 11/12/08)

Exigen aclarar desaparición de testigo que señala a autor de la muerte de Digna Ochoa (La Jornada, 11/12/08)


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