Chiapas: Tortured Campesino Freed; Frayba Denounces Impunity for Perpetrators


On November 5th, after spending three years in Villafores jail, Sergio Alberto Gonzalez Castro, who had reported torture and had been sentenced to six years in jail in Chiapas for allegedly stealing livestock from singer Julion Alvarez’s ranch, was released. The judge who heard the case issued his sentence on the basis of “not having been found criminally responsible for the crime of aggravated cattle theft” and acknowledging that “the medical and psychological studies carried out on Sergio Alberto Gonzalez Castro confirm (…) that the aforementioned defendant was tortured in a cruel and inhuman way to force him to sign the ministerial declaration.”

The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC in its Spanish acronym, also known as Frayba) filed a complaint with the Office of the Prosecutor Against Torture (investigation file 012/2018) “on June 20th, 2018, requesting that those responsible for the torture, who to this day remain in impunity, be investigated and punished: Jose Manuel Velasco Solis, Alberto Lopez de Leon and Alberto Carmona Leon, policemen who, without having an arrest warrant, illegally detained and tortured Sergio Alberto in order to obtain a self-incriminating statement and name others; the public prosecutor Javier Camacho Nafate who witnessed the torture and took the self-incriminating statement; and others who are responsible.”

The CDHFBC celebrated the release of Gonzalez Castro but stressed that following the complaint filed by him and his family, they have been at risk: “They have received threats, as well as surveillance and intimidation from different players with political influence in the state and in the region.”

For this reason, it requested the authorities of the Mexican State “to provide effective protection and security measures for Sergio Alberto and his family”; and that “those responsible for this serious violation of human rights be punished and a full reparation of the damage be made.”

For more information in Spanish:

Perpetradores de la Tortura a Sergio Alberto González no han sido sancionados (CDHFBC, 10 de octubre de 2018)

Logra libertad luego de tres años de injusto encierro en Villaflores (Ultimatum, 10 de octubre de 2018)

Liberan a campesino acusado de robar ganado a Julión Álvarez (Proceso, 9 de octubre de 2018)

Liberan a Sergio González, acusado de robarle ganado a Julión Álvarez (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Julión Alvarez Threatens to Sue Media and Frayba; Chiapas Paralelo Denounces “Erosion of Freedom of Expression” (01/10/2018)

National/International: Civil Organizations Force Foreign Affairs to Publish Report of UN Sub-committee for the Prevention of Torture (01/05/2018)

National: Senate Approves Law against Torture (04/05/2017)

National/International: “Torture and Mistreatment Continue to Be Widespread in Mexico”, Juan E. Mendez (08/03/2017)

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