Oaxaca/National/International: UN Committee against Torture Issues Decisions on Damian Gallardo Case

@ Desinformemonos

In a decision issued by the United Nations body against torture, it was determined that the teacher and activist for the rights of indigenous peoples, Damian Gallardo Martinez, was the victim of torture by Oaxaca police in May, 2013. In a press conference organized by Oaxaca Consortium, Damian Gallardo, his family members and others spoke about what this decision means in the search for truth, justice and reparation for victims of torture in Mexico.

Miguel Martin Zumalacarregui of the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) said that it is a historical fact because it is the third time that the Committee against Torture has issued rulings against Mexico for cases of this type, in addition to being the first time for a human rights defender. For Zumalacarregui, it is a confirmation that “Mexico unjustly and arbitrarily imprisoned Damian Gallardo and that he was tortured.” He assured, however, that Mexico has a “very negative” record of complying with international decisions, so it will be a complicated path to seek justice. In this sense, he took the opportunity to send a message to the Mexican government about the intention of the OMCT to give continuity in this and other cases and in the demand for respect for rights.

For his part, Damian Gallardo took the opportunity to talk about the great impact of this decision on him as a victim of torture, but specifically “he puts the issue of pending justice on the table”“the Mexican state is obliged to see to all the victims.” Added to this, the resolution dignifies the Ayuuk community to which he belongs and recognizes people who “are inserted into this pattern of criminalization by the state”, that is, human rights defenders. This resolution dignifies him and his family “because I was defamed, arbitrarily detained, tortured and spent five years seven months in unjust detention”, “it is a kind of fresh music in our hearts”, said the activist.

Guillermo Fernandez-Maldonado, Representative in Mexico of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) said that 2019 was the last review by the international body to Mexico, which revealed the high incidence of the torture cases, investigation deficiencies and high levels of impunity. He mentioned that although it is positive that there is recognition of the existence and practice of torture, he acknowledged “that there is little progress in the investigation and punishment of the responsible authorities.” It is paradigmatic that the authorities are the ones in charge of silencing the people they consider “politically uncomfortable”, he concluded.

For more information in Spanish:

Conferencia de prensa sobre las implicaciones de la resolución histórica del Comité de la ONU contra la Tortura (CAT). (Consorcio Oaxaca, 22 de diciembre de 2021)

ONU: Detención y tortura de defensor Ayuujk evidencia criminalización de la protesta social en México (Educa Oaxaca, 15 de diciembre de 2021)

Profesor ayuujk Damián Gallardo fue víctima de tortura policial en Oaxaca, concluye la ONU (El Universal Oaxaca, 15 de diciembre de 2021)

Exige ONU justicia para Damián Gallardo, ayuujk detenido y torturado por la policía en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 16 de diciembre de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca/International: Oaxaca Consortium Presents Damian Gallardo Case to UN Committee against Torture (CAT) (May 26, 2019)

Oaxaca: Demand for the immediate release of Damián Gallardo (December 30, 2014)

Oaxaca: 16 months after the imprisonment of Damián Gallardo, and following call from the UN, there is no response from the Mexican State (October 12, 2014)

Chiapas: Yonny Ronay, Tortured and Framed, Clear Example of Injustice and Corruption of Mexican Penal System (September 25, 2021)

National: Injunction Granted to Kamel Nacif in Lydia Cacho Torture case (July 28, 2021)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s