Chiapas: release of indigenous prisoners and denunciation of torture in the state

Rueda de prensa de los liberados. Foto (@Pozol Colectivo)

Press-conference of those released. Photo (@Pozol Colectivo)

The indigenous prisoners Audentino García Villafuerte (Hiber) and Andrés and Josué López Hernández have been released after nearly eight months incarcerated (Hiber) and three years, two months, and nine days (the López Hernández brothers).

After a trial that found no evidence to condemn them, the three prisoners were released unconditionally at the end of March.

According to repeated denunciations, national and international human-rights organizations note that the charges of these three were fabricated, and that their basic rights to freedom and personal integrity had been violated, given that they were subjected to torture during their imprisonment.

According to the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), “Using their testimony, we can confirm that in jails in the state of Chiapas, indigenous peoples are discriminated against and insulted, but due to fear of reprisals against them and their families, they do not denounce the acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.  Furthermore, even when torture is obvious, justice is absent because it is not investigated.”

For the CDHFBC, torture is a method of criminal investigation used frequently in Chiapas by police units and the Army and Navy toward the end of obtaining information or forced confessions.

“Due to its acts of torture, the State is responsible both directly and by omission for the behavior of its officials, who, being cognizant of the act, do not intervene to punish those responsible and thus allow this grave human-rights violation to continue unchecked.”

For more information (in Spanish):

“En Chiapas persisten prácticas de tortura” denuncia el Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (Pozol Colectivo, 14 de abril de 2014)

En Chiapas persisten prácticas de tortura (CDHFBC, 15 de abril de 2014)

Video: Persiste la tortura en Chiapas (Koman Ilel, 14 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Torture and killing of youth the responsibility of municipal police from Acala, CDHFBC denounces (18 de marzo de 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and kidnapping of youth Hiber Audentino García Villafuerte (1 January 2014)

National: International organizations conclude observation mission on torture in Mexico (10 June 2013)

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

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