Mexico: New torture law, glimmer of hope that must translate into justice

4/26/2017 Amnesty International

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Flickr/Kit

Mexico’s new General Law on Torture is a welcome step forward to tackle the country´s human rights crisis. Authorities must now ensure all those responsible for these heinous crimes under international law face justice, Amnesty International said today.

Mexican Congress today finally passed the General Law on Torture which was promised over two years ago by the Mexican president after a national public outcry following massive human rights violations in the case of 43 disappeared students. The Mexican Senate today approved a final version which had been debated by both chambers of Congress.

“Unless the Mexican authorities make a real effort to ensure all those responsible for the thousands of cases of torture reported every year across the country are brought to justice, this law will be nothing but words on paper. We must not allow this to continue to be the case,” said Tania Reneaum Panszi, executive director of Amnesty International Mexico.

Torture is a widespread practice in Mexico. People are routinely tortured in an attempt to force them to sign false “confessions”.

Mexico’s law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and courts still fail to investigate, prosecute and punish torture by officials. Of the thousands of complaints of torture filed each year, only 15 cases have resulted in federal criminal convictions since 1991. Criminal charges against those suspected of criminal responsibility are very rarely presented, if at all.

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