Through a comparative analysis of violence and cases of torture against indigenous peoples in the Latin American region, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights in coordination with the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) carried out the presentation of the report “…Well, It’s Torture! Torture against Indigenous Peoples: An Invisible Reality” on March 21st.
Some testimonies from organizations of indigenous peoples from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia made it possible to systematize and highlight the patterns of violence committed by the State in the Latin American region. From dispossession, forced displacement, sexual and gender torture, militarization, racism and discrimination, to the constant criminalization of peaceful social protest where there is repression without punishment for those responsible, as well as a disproportionate use of military and police forces, also leading to stigmatization and threats against indigenous leaders.
Among other topics, the speakers spoke of the repercussions not only on the direct victims of torture but, from a collective point of view. The psychosocial impacts on the generations and the memory of the community; expenses involved in supporting a person who has been detained; the effects on the organizational capacity of the community, etc.
On the other hand, the report pointed out that, despite the fact that the rights of indigenous peoples have been constitutionally recognized in almost all Latin American countries, there is still a very important gap in their application. In the case of Mexico, the limited constitutional recognition of these rights is added to policies that seek the integration of indigenous peoples into a national project “conceived by the dominant mestizo elites.” In this sense, the OMCT denounced that “the Mexican authorities have implemented a policy of territorial dispossession for the benefit of private interests with the argument of the ‘development’ of indigenous communities.”
For more information in Spanish:
Informe: ¡…Pues Es Tortura! La tortura contra los pueblos indígenas: una realidad invisibilizada (Frayba, 27 de marzo de 2022)
México: Las torturas contra pueblos indígenas siguen siendo parte del sistema(Tercera Vía, 20 de marzo de 2022)
Tren Maya y Corredor Transístmico, tortura para indígenas: OMCT (La Jornada Maya, 29 de marzo de 2022)
For more information from SIPAZ: