National/International: UN Special Rapporteur on Torture presents report about Mexico in Geneva

March 21, 2015

Juan E. Méndez, Relator Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre la Tortura (@Naciones Unidas)

Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (@UN)

On 9 March, Juan E. Méndez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading Treatment, presented the report based on his visit to Mexico between April and May 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.  In his conclusions, he mentions that “torture and ill-treatment of the incarcerated after their arrest and prior to their presentation to the justice system are generalized phenomena in Mexico which take place within the context of impunity.”  He added that there is evidence of the active participation of police and military forces, “but also tolerance, indifference, or complicity on the part of some doctors, public defenders, prosecutors, and judges.”  He indicated furthermore that torture is used “to punish the arrested and to extract confessions or incriminating information.”  He highlighted moreover that “the impunity of torture and other abuses is sufficient to lead to its repetition and exacerbation.”

For this reason, the Special Rapporteur recommended legislative reforms that would integrate international standards into domestic law, thus effectively preventing and punishing torture and other abuses, as well as to undertake the investigation of all denunciations that are presented, including “the tasks that remain in terms of the Dirty War.”  He recommended also that the dimension of the phenomenon be publicly recognized, and that all the authorities receive strong public pressure insisting that all abuses will be seriously investigated and punished.

Following the presentation of this report, Jorge Lomónaco, Mexican representative before international organizations, affirmed that “we cannot agree with the view that torture is generalized in the country, because that is not the case in reality.”  He added that what the Special Rapporteur claimed “does not reflect the enormous efforts that my country’s government has made to strengthen a culture of respect for human rights in the law and in practice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ver Informe completo (Juan E. Méndez, diciembre de 2014)

Generalizada, la tortura en México (Proceso, 7 de marzo de 2015)

“Todos los cuerpos policiales torturan en el país” (El País, 9 de marzo de 2015)

México: entre la tortura y la impunidad (Centro PRODH, Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

La tortura es generalizada en México: relator de ONU; eso es mentira, responde embajador (Animal Político, 9 de marzo de 2015)

México y ONU ahora chocan por informe sobre la tortura (Milenio, 10 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: New Amnesty International report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico” (15 September 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror” (3 July 2014)

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: release of indigenous prisoners and denunciation of torture in the state (29 April 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and killing of youth the responsibility of municipal police from Acala, CDHFBC denounces (18 March 2014)

Chiapas: Torture and kidnapping of youth Hiber Audentino García Villafuerte (1 January, 2014)

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Mexico: The Mexican Republic rejects recommendations made by UPR

July 16, 2009
Universal Periodic Review: Mexico is reviewed - A country without human rights is not democratic

Universal Periodic Review (UPR): A country without human rights... is not a democracy

On February 2009, during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Mexico received various recommendations to advance human rights work. On June 11th of this year, Mexico responded to the recommendations during the sessions at the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. This new report has been widely criticized by various Human Rights organizations in Mexico: in one communique on July 12th, organizations stated that Mexico has flagrantly rejected recommendations relative to military justice, the impunity and past crimes, the definition of organized delinquency, and the judicial figure of the pre-trial detention. The communique states other issues in which Mexico has shown impotence or lack of interest to comply as a Republic of justice: violence against women, femicide, and legislative justice.

In its defense, Mexico exposed a series of facts that were considered as advances. One of these was the constitutional reform in matter of human rights. Nevertheless, the so called reform does not give constitutional priority to human rights, and as a consequence it misses the opportunity to give international human rights treaties constitutional ranking.

With concern, the organizations signing the press release including the Human Rights Center Fray Francisco Victoria, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, the Human Rights Center Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, and the Human Rights Center de la Montaña, Tlachinollan, conclude that “the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has given us an opportunity so the international and national communities can become aware that a great deficit in the topic of human rights exists. The recommendations made by the UPR are added to the great number of recommendations that the Mexican State has recieved in last eleven years. What we now need is political will and effective actions by the federal government and from the state governments to implement them in their entirety.”

For more information (spanish only):

More information from SIPAZ: