National: Civil society pronounces itself on International Day of Support for Torture Victims

July 19, 2013

(@zapateando)

(@zapateando)

Several civil-society organizations pronounced themselves on 26 June, in observance of the International Day against Torture, regarding the practice of torture by Mexican authorities.  The National Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” emphasized that “if the Mexican State has signed the principal international accords regarding torture and subjected itself to periodical evaluations by human rights mechanisms […], the recommendations released by said mechanisms must be implemented […].  There is seen an increase in the practice of torture in our country, as well as of impunity which continues in terms of the cases that have been denounced before the corresponding authorities.”

For their part, several civil organizations, including the Miguel Augustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (PRODH) and the Cerezo Committee, jointly declared that “torture is a grave and inexcusable violation, whose commission and toleration cannot and should not have any social or legal basis in any democratic society […].  In this sense, we consider it fundamental that ministerial and judicial authorities throughout the government take political will to break the present cycle of impunity for this crime […].  We emphasize that the procedural guarantees of presumption of innocence and due process are incompatible with torture as a legitimate act for the extraction of confessions and clarification of juridical truth, given that its criminal nature violates the very ends of justice and damages the aspirations of the State to be constitutional and democratic.”

A bulletin released by several organizations from Chiapas, Mexican and international, indicated that “in Chiapas, acts of torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and punishments have been converted into a ‘normal’ and accepted practice by the authorities of procuration and administration of justice and the carceral system.  It is moreover tolerated by the governor of Chiapas.”

In Guerrero, there was held the forum “Torture from Yesterday to Today, Impunity Forever,” as organized by the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI).  At the forum, members of organizations of human-rights defense stressed that the situation of violation of individual rights in Guerrero has not changed with regard to the situation which prevailed at the end of the 1960’s.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sigue aumentando en México la tortura, advierten ONG y Amnistía Internacional (La Jornada, 27 de junio de 2013)

Boletín completo de Amnistía Internacional: Las víctimas de tortura merecen justicia pronta y efectiva (AI, 26 de junio de 2013)

OSC denuncian la persistencia de la tortura en México y exigen justicia para todas las y los sobrevivientes (RedTdT, 26 de junio de 2013)

Declaración con motivo del Día Internacional en Apoyo a las Víctimas de la Tortura (PRODH, 26 de junio de 2013)

Comunicado de la Red por la Paz de Chiapas y organizaciones internacionales (26 de junio de 2013)

El Estado no reconoce que hay torturados y desaparecidos, por eso no se les atiende, reprochan expertos, (El Sur de Acapulco, 26 de junio de 2013)

No ha prosperado ninguna de las 56 quejas por tortura en el estado, revela la Codehum (El Sur de Acapulco, 26 de junio).

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: International organizations conclude observation mission on torture in Mexico (10 June 2013)

Mexico: UN Committee against Torture expresses grave concern for the practice of torture in Mexico (9 November 2012)

National: Amnesty International presents report regarding use of torture in Mexico (19 October 2012)

National: International judges report on conclusions of the observation of state of justice in Mexico (12 October 2012)

Chiapas: Presentation of report on torture in Chiapas “From Cruelty to Cynicism” (2 July 2012)

The OMCT condemns torture in Chiapas (18 August 2011)


Mexico: the brothers Antonio and Hector Cerezo are freed

February 24, 2009

Click on the photo to see more photos of the liberation

On August 13, 2001, Pablo Alvarado, Antonio, Héctor, and Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, and Sergio Galicia were detained and accused of belonging to the Armed Revolutionary Forces of the People (FARP) and being responsible for the explosion of homemade bombs in three banks in the Federal District in the that year. They were convicted of being involved in organized crime.

According to various human rights organizations, the detentions presented many irregularities: their arrest and illegal detention, torture, holding them incommunicado, incarceration in the maximum security prison “La Palma”, as well as being accused of being terrorists.

Out of their detention was born the Cerezo Committee, which is an organization dedicated to the defense of the human rights of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. Its work has included documentation, denunciation, diffusion, and accompaniment in a number of cases.

On February 16 at noon, the last two prisoners, the brothers Antonio and Héctor Cerezo Contreras were freed, ending their sentence of seven and a half years. They managed to reduce the original sentence of 75 years for all the detained. Two years ago, Alejandro Cerezo Contreras was freed and exonerated of all crimes.

The Cerezo Committee, in spite of having been the object of hostility, surveillance, and death threats since the first two years of its existence, stated that it would continue to work for the defense of human rights of other political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. “Our love has grown to involve not only Antonio and Héctor, but all people who are suffering”, said one of the members of the Committee minutes before the liberation of the brothers.

Interview with Francisco Cerezo (In Spanish)

For More Information:

Ordeal Ends for Sons of Alleged Guerrillas, Global Issues (2/17/09)

Information about the case and the Cerezo Committee (Peace Brigades International, PBI)

More Information in Spanish:

La pagina web del Comité Cerezo, con varias entrevistas, artículos e imágenes

Antonio y Héctor Cerezo, libres tras más de siete años de cárcel, La Jornada (17/02/2009)