Protest in solidarity with victims and survivors of torture. Archive photo: @Cuartoscuro.
More than four months later than the period granted to Congress to issue a law on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatments and punishments, there is still no legislation. In a statement, dozens of social organizations noted the delay of legislators in drafting such a law and denounced the reluctance to address the “penal miscellany”, a set of reform initiatives to various laws. Organizations that collaborated for nine months on the design of a bill felt that “several of them [proposals] encourage human rights violations”, according to Process. They specifically rejected the legalization of not putting detainees at the disposal of the ministerial authority of the location of arrest, legalizing, according to the statement “‘the stroll’, that is unconstitutional and prolonged detention during which acts of torture occur”; the suspension of the maximum period of preventive detention for accused persons who report torture, “a measure which will cause victims of torture to simply drop their complaint”; and the elimination of the right to presentation of evidence at the initial hearing, such that a person could be imprisoned despite having evidence from the outset to prove his innocence.
The statement recalled the fabrication of statements under torture to support the “historical truth” of Ayotzinapa or the Tlatlaya case. It also mentioned viral videos that showed federal and state agents torturing a woman in Guerrero and of an official of the State Attorney of Mexico that “recognizes that fabricating crime is a ‘lifelong’ practice'”. Facing this, they made a “strong call to Senate not to approve the proposals made […] to demonstrate a clear commitment to the eradication of torture as a legislative priority.” “For a country like Mexico, where patterns of torture and other cruel treatments have been on the rise in recent years, it becomes essential to have norms that guarantee maximum protection of people against possible abuses by the authorities”, Animal Politico published.
For more information in Spanish:
Miscelánea Penal: propuestas inconstitucionales que fomentan la tortura (Comisión Mexicana en Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, 23 de mayo de 2016)
Exigen ONG que Senado aborde ley de tortura en periodo extra (Proceso, 23 de mayo de 2016)
4 puntos que no se deben olvidar para la ley contra la tortura (Animal Político, 24 de mayo de 2016)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Guerrero/Nacional: Reacciones ante vídeo de participación de fuerzas públicas en tortura (22 de abril de 2016)
Nacional: Juez absuelve militares implicados en la masacre de Tlatlaya (18 de mayo de 2016)
Nacional: Gobierno rechazó visita del relator para la tortura de la ONU (31 de marzo de 2016)