On December 21st, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) determined that the Mexican State was responsible for the sexual torture of which 11 women were victims during a 2006 police operation in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico State.
It should be recalled that on May 3rd and 4th, 2006, police forces carried out an operation in San Salvador Atenco supposedly to “re-establish order” during a series of protests by the inhabitants over the construction of an airport. More than 200 people were arrested during the raids. 50 of them were women, 31 of whom later reported sexual assaults by the police.
“The use of force by the police authorities when arresting them was not legitimate or necessary, but it was also excessive and unacceptable due to the sexual and discriminatory nature of the aggressions suffered. The Court concluded that the indiscriminate use of force by the State in this case, as a result of an absence of adequate regulation, a lack of training of the agents, inefficient supervision and monitoring of the operation, and a misconception that violence of some justified the use of force against all”, the Court said.
It should be emphasized that the judgments of the IACHR are binding for Mexico, and therefore the State is obliged to comply with all the measures ordered by the Inter-American Court. The Miguel Agustin Pro Juárez Human Rights Center declared that, “with this historic sentence, the State has the possibility to put an end to impunity in the emblematic case of Atenco and to take concrete measures to prevent such violations of human rights from being reproduced in other contexts. The full and prompt compliance with the sentence announced by the Court today will be a clear sign of the new government’s commitment to human rights. Moreover, in a context in which the security model is under discussion in Mexico, with the intention of creating a militarized National Guard, the sentence issued by the Court in the Atenco case – as with the resolution published yesterday regarding the Alvarado case – obllige the Mexican Legislative Power to review the legislation that it intends to pass in light of the standards set by the Inter-American Court, which reinforce the perspective of citizen security of a civil nature and external supervision of security institutions.”
For more information in Spanish:
Comunicado MÉXICO ES RESPONSABLE POR TORTURA SEXUAL DE MUJERES EN ATENCO (Corte IDH, 21 de diciembre de 2018)
En sentencia histórica, Corte Interamericana ordena al Estado mexicano sancionar represión y tortura en Atenco (Centro ProDH, 21 de diciembre de 2018)
Ilegítimo e innecesario, el uso de la fuerza en Atenco: Corte Interamericana al notificar sentencia al Estado mexicano (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de diciembre de 2018)
Culpa Corte IDH al Estado por tortura de mujeres de Atenco (La Jornada, 21 de diciembre de 2018)
Responsabilidad internacional del Estado mexicano en actos de tortura contra 11 mujeres de Atenco: CoIDH (Proceso, 21 de diciembre de 2018)
Corte IDH: El Estado mexicano violó DDHH de mujeres en Atenco, cuando Peña gobernaba Edomex (Sin Embargo, 21 de diciembre de 2018)
CIDH responsabiliza al Estado por tortura sexual de 11 mujeres en Atenco (Radio Fórmula, 21 de diciembre de 2018)
For more information from SIPAZ:
National: Hearing of Cases of Sexual Torture in San Salvador Atenco at IACHR Court (November 29th, 2017)