Mexico: Response to Torture Video Falls Short

04/21/2016 Human Rights Watch

General-Cienfuegos(New York) – The Mexican defense minister did the right thing when he apologized for a case of torture caught on tape, but the government should recognize that such abuse is widespread and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice, Human Rights Watch said today.

On April 16, 2016, the defense secretary, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, addressing thousands of members of the Armed Forces, publiclyapologized for the acts of torture committed by soldiers against a woman in Guerrero state in January 2015. The speech came days after avideo showing federal police officers and soldiers repeatedly placing a plastic bag over the woman’s head and threatening to kill her went viral on social media.

While General Cienfuegos called on all members of the military to respect human rights, he also insisted this was an “isolated” incident and that “bad members” of the Armed Forces “tarnish the honorable performance of thousands of women and men wearing military uniforms.”

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