The Mexican authorities must take decisive action to tackle the systemic and widespread use of torture and ill-treatment documented across the country, which dramatically increased under the government of Felipe Calderón, Amnesty International has said in a new report.
The report Abusers known, victims ignored: Torture and ill treatment in Mexico explores the increase of cases in torture and ill-treatment by police and security forces during the Calderón administration, the lack of effective investigations and the denial of justice for the victims.
Rupert Knox, Mexico researcher at Amnesty International, said: “The Calderón administration has effectively turned a blind eye to the ‘torture epidemic’ we’ve been witnessing in Mexico.
“The protection of human rights has been ignored or sidelined in favour of the government’s strategy of militarised combat of organised crime and drug cartels.
“Across Mexico criminal suspects often face detention and trial on the basis of evidence obtained under torture and ill-treatment while prosecutors and courts fail to question seriously information or evidence obtained in this manner.
“Federal authorities have shown an absolute lack of leadership to combat torture and ill-treatment seriously at the state level or federal level. The only way to tackle torture and ill-treatment is by ensuring that all cases are properly investigated and those responsible, brought to justice.
“In a letter sent to Amnesty International, Mexican President elect Enrique Peña Nieto committed to implement policies and take action to end torture, we urge the authorities to abide by their promises.”
In 2011, Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) received 1,669 reports of torture and ill treatment by police and security forces; up from 1,161 in 2010; 1,055 in 2009 and 564 in 2008. These figures cover reports of abuses by federal officials.
In the last three years, Amnesty International has recorded reports of torture in all 31 states and the Federal District