Mexico admits torture in Atenco case

From El Universal, Nov. 9 via Chiapas95 (our translation):

GENEVA, Switzerland – The Federal Prosecutor of the Republic [PGR] admitted that following the police operation of this past May in San Salvador Atenco, sexual abuses and torture were committed against detained women.

Nonetheless, the National Human Rights Commission informed that the Public Security Secretary had rejected its recommendation issued one month ago, arguing that the operation was in conformity with the law.

The issue was aired yesterday in a session of the [UN] Committee Against Torture which is this week evaluating the actions of the Mexican government.

Alicia Perez Duarte, the PGR’s special prosecutor for violence against women, assured that her office, without yet bringing any charges, had opened an investigation into the sexual aggressions to which 26 detained women were subject after the police operation of May 3rd and 4th…

Claudio Grossman, the Committee’s pointman for Mexico, indicated that
sexual violations can be considered a form of torture. Felice Gaer, an expert on the Committee, said, “I wonder if this is what normally happens with this police force, or what is generally done by those charged with enforcing the law.”

We again point out the irony that Mexico is formally acknowledging that torture persists within its borders just as president-elect Felipe Calderon is pledging a bloody crackdown on “terrorism.”

See our last posts on Mexico, Atenco and the ongoing human rights crisis.