National: Senate Approves Law against Torture

May 4, 2017

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On April 25th, the Senate unanimously approved the Law against Torture initiatve and sent the document to the Federal Executive for its promulgation. This legislation was under discussion for almost a year in the Chamber of Deputies, while “from December 1st, 2006 to December 31st, 2014, the National Human Rights Commission received 104 complaints and issued 79 recommendations on the subject of torture. This is compounded by the 4,440 complaints filed before the agency by the commission on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in the same period, of which, 1,000 correspond to cases related to the Army and Navy. According to figures obtained by the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, the Attorney General’s Office received 4,555 complaints of torture, and reported that only 1,884 cases are under investigation. Of these, only 11 were recorded, and only five sentences for this crime are known in the period referred to.”

This general law is intended to enable the prevention, investigation and punishment of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In the case of committing the crime of torture, in order to “obtain information or confession, for purposes of criminal investigation, as an intimidating means, as personal punishment or as a means of coercion, causing pain or suffering to another person”, a penalty of ten to 20 years imprisonment, as well as 500 to 1,000 days of a minimum wage penalty, for the public servant who incurs such a crime. When the victim of torture is a child, girl or teenager, the sentence will be increased to 30 years in prison. The same shall apply if a pregnant woman, a person with a disability, or an older adult is subjected to any form of sexual violence, if the person has the status of migrant, Afro-descendant or belongs to an indigenous community.

The law also proposes “to apply the same sanctions to hierarchical superiors, accomplices and collaborators in acts of torture and as a temporary measure the removal of public officials appointed or investigated for this crime is foreseen, with the aim of not obstructing the investigation against him.”

The Mexico Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights celebrated the approved law given that it completely forbids torture, “punishes the behavior throughout the country under the same definition in accordance with international treaties, excludes evidence obtained through torture and other violations of human rights and establishes clear rules to combat impunity. It also considered that another step forward in the legislation is that it “distributes powers among the three levels of government, creates a national registry of cases of torture and includes measures for the assistance, care and reparation of victims.”

For its part, Amnesty International said it represents a step forward in addressing the human rights crisis prevailing in the country, but that “unless the Mexican authorities make a real effort to guarantee the trial of all those responsible for the thousands of cases of torture reported every year throughout the country, this law will be nothing more than words on paper. We should not allow this to continue.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Por unanimidad, aprueba el Senado Ley contra la Tortura (La Jornada, a 27 de abril de 2017)

Aprueba Senado ley contra tortura: penas de hasta 30 años (Aristegui Noticias, a 26 de abril de 2017)

Senado aprueba por unanimidad ley para prevenir, investigar y sancionar la tortura (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2017)

Y ONU-DH urge a Peña Nieto promulgarla (Proceso, 26 de abril de 2017)

‘Un paso adelante’, nueva ley contra la tortura en México: AI (MVS, 26 de abril de 2017)

La ONU-DH felicita al Congreso de la Unión por la aprobación de la ley general de tortura (La Oficina en México del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (ONU-DH), a 26 de abril de 2017)

Sociedad civil insta al Senado a aprobar Ley General contra la Tortura esta semana (Tlachinollan, a 24 de abril de 2017)

Ley general contra la tortura (La Jornada, a 6 de febrero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Dudas de organismos de la sociedad civil por la iniciativa de Ley contra la Tortura (9 de febrero de 2016)

Nacional: Organizaciones sociales se pronuncian sobre ley de tortura (31 de mayo de 2016)

Nacional/Internacional : « la tortura y los malos tratos siguen siendo generalizados en México» Juan E. Mendez (7 de marzo de 2017)

 


Guerrero/National: Federal Police Use Tear Gas on Parents of the 43

May 4, 2017

Ayotzi.pngFather of one of the “43” fater being sprayed with tear gas. Photo@: Tlachinollan

On April 25th, one day before the the completion of 31 months since the forced disappearance of the 43 student teachers from the Raul Isidro Burgos Normal Rural School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, their relatives were violently evicted by the Federal Police from the facilities of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) with tear gas cannisters. They were waiting to be met by the Secretary of the Interior, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, to find out and demand advances in the investigations that aim to reveal the whereabouts of the students, as well as the research lines marked by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE). Five parents were injured by the effects of tear gas ccording to the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center. Their eyesight and other organs could be at risk according to early medical reports. Tlachinollan denounced that, “in addition to facing the forced disappearance of their children, they face the absence of access to justice and knowledge of the truth.”

It is worth mentioning that during its second official visit to Mexico held from April 19th to 21st, 2017, the Follow-up Mechanism on the Ayotzinapa case noted “the lack of speed in reaching conclusions, both in the search activities and in the effective elucidation of the different lines of research identified by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE).” The Monitoring Mechanism also stated that “the issuance of public statements by high authorities validating the hypothesis that the 43 students were incinerated in the municipal garbage dump in Cocula is of concern to the Commission”, since the IGIE of the Inter-American Commission itself concluded in its first report that “the minimum fire necessary for the incineration of 43 bodies was not scientifically possible given the evidence found.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Rocían con gas lacrimógeno a padres de normalistas frente a la Secretaría de Gobernación (Animal Politico, 25 de abril de 2017)

Ayotzinapa: La luz que no se apaga (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la montaña Tlachinollan, 24 de abril de 2017)

Vocación represora desaparece 43 y agrede a los padres de familia (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la montaña Tlachinollan, 25 de abril de 2017)

Reprueban ONG agresión contra padres y madres de Ayotzinapa Centro de Derechos Humanos de la montaña Tlachinollan, 24 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero/ Nacional: Madres y padres de los 43 consideran no acudir a la reunión con la PGR y la CIDH (20 de abril de 2017)

Guerrero : padres de los 43 participan en audiencia de la CIDH (22 de marzo de 2017)


Guerrero/ National: Parents of the 43 Consider not Attending Meeting with PGR and CIDH

April 27, 2017

Ayotzi.pngPhoto@SIPAZ Archive

On April 20th, the parents of the 43 disappeared students of the Raul Isidro Burgos Normal Rural School, Ayotzinapa are scheduled for a meeting with officials of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), with representatives of the special monitoring mechanism and with the Rapporteur of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño.

This meeting was scheduled before the IACHR session in Washington on April 17th. However, according to the newspaper the Sur de Acapulco, the parents are considering not to attend because of the statements made by the undersecretary Roberto Campa Cifrian during this session. He affirmed that the main line of investigation continues to be the incineration of the student teachers at the garbage dump of Cocula, although this hypothesis was scientifically denied by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE).

Whether or not they attend the meeting, the families said they will not stop demanding that the authorities reveal their children’s whereabouts. Therefore, they announced that they will undertake, on Thursday, April 20th, at 11:00 a.m., a march to the anti-monument to the PGR, where they will stage an indefinite sit-in.

For more information in Spanish:

Las grietas del poder (Centro de derechos humanos de la Montaña, Tlachinollan, 18 de abril de 2017)

Valoran padres de los 43 la posibilidad de asistir a la reunion de PGR con la CIDH (El Sur de Acapulco, 19 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero : padres de los 43 participan en audiencia de la CIDH (22 de marzo de 2017)


Nacional/Oaxaca: German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico

April 10, 2017

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At the end of March, the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico, a network created in 2000 and composed of 15 German organizations and institutions, presented the main results of its observation mission in which they visited human rights defenders Enrique Guerrero Aviña (UNAM student) and Damian Gallardo Martinez (Oaxacan activist) imprisoned at CEFERESO No.2, in Jalisco. It stressed that, “it has known of these cases in which experts of the UN have pronounced for more than two years on the arbitrary nature of the arrest and in demand for their immediate freedom.” They reported that for this reason, the German Coordination has launched a campaign for their release.

 It denounced that, “it was informed of the hunger strike that began on March 6 in which more than half of the persons deprived of their liberty denounced the situation of cruel, inhuman treatment and torture in CEFERESO. The human defenders Damian Gallardo and Enrique Guerrero have denounced this situation on multiple occasions, promoting legal actions and protesting. The German Coordination firmly condemns any retaliation that may occur against both defenders for their legitimate work of denunciation and demand for rights in the prison.”

The German Coordination also denounced that “another element of particular seriousness was the confirmation that the cases of arbitrary detention of Damian Gallardo and Enrique Guerrero are not isolated cases, since the members of the mission could observe that there is a pattern of criminalization of defenders In Mexico, which is a worrying indicator of the deep human rights crisis in the country.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado « Culmina Red Alemana por los Derechos Humanos en México misión en el país » (31 de marzo de 2017)

ONG alemana expresa ‘‘enorme preocupación por permanente violación a DH y pretensión de criminalizar protesta social” (Revolución 3.0, 31 de marzo de 2017)

Viola México derechos humanos: ONG alemana (La Jornada, 31 de marzo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: Exigen liberación inmediata de Damián Gallardo (23 de diciembre de 2014)

Oaxaca: A 16 meses del encarcelamiento de Damián Gallardo, y tras llamamiento de la ONU, no hay respuesta del Estado mexicano (10 de octubre de 2014)

 


Guerrero: Internal Security Law Initiative Rejected

April 4, 2017

Forum.pngSecurity or human rights forum: a false dichotomy Photo@: Tlachinollan

On March 28, in Guerrero, one of the most violent states in Mexico and also one of the most militarized, a forum on militarization entitled “Security or human rights: a false dichotomy” was held during which civil organizations, victims, representatives from the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico defended different reasons for rejecting the initiative of the Internal Security Law currently under debate in the Senate and in the Chamber of Deputies.

Parents of the 43 students took part in the event, who reported that soldiers from the 27th Infantry Battalion and police from the three levels of government participated in the attacks, murders and forced disappearances suffered by their children. Also participating were Tita Radilla, daughter of the Atoyac peasant leader, Rosendo Radilla Pachecho, arrested and disappeared at a military checkpoint in 1974 and Valentina Rosendo Cantu, raped by soldiers at age 17.

Prior to this forum, the Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon Human Rights Center, the Guerrero Network of Civil Organisms for Human Rights, the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center and the Mexican Institute of Human Rights and Democracy, among others, declared themselves to be against the Internal Security Law, explaining that it would “give rise to more violations of human rights and complete impunity.” These organizations argued that, “it has been useless for the military to assume public security tasks in the state if levels of violence continue to increase exponentially every day because organized crime groups have taken over institutions and exercise territorial control by imposing their rules and self-government.”

For more information in Spanish:

Rechazan la iniciativa de Ley de Seguridad Interior (El Sur de Acapulco, 29 de marzo de 2017)

Foro | Seguridad o Derechos Humanos: Una falsa dicotomía (Centro de derechos Humanos de la montaña Tlachinolla, 27 de marzo 2017)

 For more information from SIAPZ:

Nacional : cierre de año legislativo con agenda polémica en el Congreso (18 de diciembre 2016)

 


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

March 8, 2017

Torture.pngAmnesty International campaign against torture in Mexico

On 24 February, the current UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, presented the follow-up report on the mission carried out by his predecessor Juan E. Mendez in Mexico on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The report pointed out that “torture continues to be widespread on the part of security forces and investigators”; that suffocation, sexual violence, electric shocks, death threats, beatings, and psychological torture are “commonly used for obtaining information, confessions or as a method of punishment. To this is added a context of serious impunity, where the lack of investigation into these facts is the rule.”

In his assessment of the situation, the rapporteur stated that “organized crime is a challenge for the authorities and the population.” He commented that since 2006 and under the so-called “war against drug trafficking”, “militarization of public security remains as strategy.” He expressed concern about the “extremely vulnerability” of migrants by stating that “the detention of migrants by state agents is often violent and includes insults, threats and humiliations.”

 The Rapporteur regretted to conclude in his report that since his visit two years ago the situation “has not changed”, that “torture and mistreatment are still widespread in Mexico.” He noted that the “elimination of this practice is a fundamental challenge and that is why it is important to enact the General Law on Torture, with provisions that comply with the highest international standards […] so that torture, enforced disappearances, the persecution of victims and defenders of human rights and impunity cease to be part of everyday life. “ He further requested from Mexico that there be no “exceptions to the rule of exclusion of evidence obtained through torture” in that law.

For more information in Spanish:

Pide ONU a Peña mayores esfuerzos para combatir tortura, desapariciones e impunidad ( Proceso, 3 de marzo de 2017)

Cuatro veces más quejas por tortura en último año: CNDH ( La Jornada, 28 de febrero de 2017)

Gobernación le pegó por 4 años al Papa, ONU, CIDH, HRW, AI… y dejó a México solo frente a Trump ( Sin Embargo, 27 de febrero de 2017)

La tortura aún es una práctica generalizada por parte de las autoridades en México: Relator de la ONU( Sin Embargo, 27 de febrero de 2017)

Preocupa a ONU política migratoria aplicada en México (El universal , 26 de febrero de 2017)

Violaciones, asfixia y descargas: las prácticas de tortura de las fuerzas policiales en México (Animal Político, 2 de marzo de 2017)

La tortura aún es generalizada en México: relator de la ONU ( Nwnoticias , 2 de marzo de 2017)

Informe del Relator Especial sobre la tortura y otros tratos o penas crueles, inhumanos o degradantes, Juan E. Méndez (Oficina del Alto Comisionado de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas, 29 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Amnistía Internacional presenta su informe anual sobre la situación de derechos humanos en el mundo. México, “en una de las peores crisis de derechos humanos y justicia” (3 de marzo de 2017)

Nacional/Internacional: relator especial de Naciones Unidas sobre Tortura presenta informe sobre México en Ginebra, Suiza (10 de marzo de 2015)

Nacional: Organizaciones sociales se pronuncian sobre ley de tortura (31 de mayo de 2016)


National: Amnesty International Presents Report on Global Situation of Human rights. Mexico “One of the Worst Crisis of Human Rights and Justice”

March 7, 2017

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On February 21, Amnesty International presented its annual report. In the section corresponding to events in Mexico in 2016, AI summarized: “Ten years after the beginning of the so-called “war against drug trafficking and organized crime”, military personnel continued to be employed in public security operations, and violence in the country continued to be widespread. Reports of torture and other abuses, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests continued to be reported. Impunity persisted for violations of human rights and crimes under international law. Mexico received the highest number of asylum applications in its history, the majority of people fleeing violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Intensive smear campaigns against human rights defenders and independent observers were carried out and homicides and threats against journalists due to their work continued to be reported. Violence against women continued to be a source of serious concern, and gender-based violence was reported in the states of Jalisco and Michoacan. Congress rejected one of two bills that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.”

In the presentation of the report in Mexico City, Tania Reneaum Panszi, Executive Director of the Mexican section of AI was even more succinct: “We are in one of the worst human rights and justice crisis in Mexico.”

On February 28, the Government of Mexico addressed the report, recognizing “the challenges it faces in the area of human rights, while reaffirming its ineludible commitment to respond to each of them.”

 

For more information in Spanish:

Informe anual de Amnistía Internacional/México 2016-2017 (AI, 21 de febrero de 2017)

Estas son las fallas de Mexico en derechos humanos durante 2016 (Animal Político, 22 de febrero de 2017)

México enfrenta una de las peores crisis de derechos humanos en todo el hemisferio, dice Amnistía Internacional (New York Times, 22 de febrero de 2017)

Grave crisis de derechos humanos en México a diez años de la “guerra contra el narcotráfico”: AI (Desinformémonos, 23 de febrero de 2017)

Vive México la peor crisis de derechos humanos, acusa Amnistía Internacional (La Jornada, 23 de febrero de 2017)

Posición del gobierno mexicano respecto al informe de la organización Amnistía Internacional (Comunicado SEGOB-SRE-PGR, 1 de marzo de 2017)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Amnistía Internacional acusa PGR de falta de investigación acerca de involucramiento del Ejército en caso Ayotzinapa (23 de enero de 2015)

Nacional: Amnistía Internacional “Defender Derechos Humanos: Necesario, Legítimo y Peligroso” (12 de diciembre de 2014)