Chiapas: Frayba Discussion – Factory of the Guilty, Torture in Mexico

@Centro Prodh

On June 22nd, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Center (Frayba) held an online discussion on the systematic and widespread practice of torture in Mexico. In April 2020, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) claimed that “we have eradicated torture” in Mexico. This contradicts what is held by various instances of the United Nations (UN) and the reports of various human rights organizations in Mexico. “Torture in Mexico will not be eliminated until public servants stop torturing”, Amnesty International Mexico has said.

Frayba documented 41 cases of torture between January 2019 and March 2020 in Chiapas. In these cases, it pointed to the involvement of representatives of the Mexican State such as the army, the National Guard, the police force, the judges and other authorities who carried out or covered up the torture. “The most common methods of torture in Chiapas are electric shocks, immersion, drowning with plastic bags and putting chili powder up the nose”, explained Susana de La Cruz from the Relatives of Prisaoners in Struggle group. They arbitrarily detain vulnerable people, who in Chiapas are mainly indigenous people. “They do not have access to justice because they do not have the economic resources. In many cases they do not speak Spanish and are illiterate. If a translator is present, many times they do not translate well or do not explain the legal processes”, said Juan Pablo Nava of the No Estamos Todxs Working Group.

Many victims of torture are defenders of land and territory, as is the case of Cristobal Santiz Jimenez, a Tsotsil from Aladama detained last year, stressed Frayba.

In 2017, the Mexican State approved the General Law to Prevent, Investigate and Punish Torture, resulting in the establishment of the Anti-Torture Prosecutor’s Office in Chiapas. “In the current criminal system, the Prosecutor’s Office has to render accounts or identify that the detained person has proof of guilt during a period of 48 hours. But we have identified from Frayba that the Prosecutor’s Office uses 48 hours to torture people”, said Jorge Luis Lopez from Frayba stated.

For more information in Spanish:

Conversatorio: Fábrica de Culpables, la Tortura en México (Frayba, 22 de junio de 2021)

Die Folter in Mexiko stoppen (Coordinación alemana por los derechos humanos en México, 22 de junio de 2021)

ONU exige investigar denuncias de tortura por parte de funcionarios públicos contra normalistas de Mactumactzá (Animal Político, 23 de mayo de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Istanbul Protocol Used to Cover up Torture cases in Mexico (February 6, 2021)

National: Intervention of National Mechanism for Prevention of Torture in Prisons Requested(August 20,2020)

Guerreo/National: Two Agents Arrested for Torture in Ayotzinapa Case and Extradition Proceedings Begin against Tomas Zeron (July 12, 2020)

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