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Mexico

    July 22, 2016

    By Kathy Price, Mexico campaigner at Amnesty International Canada

    They are bright and beautiful, they are eye-catching, and they carry a powerful message – a message of concern, solidarity and enormous caring. 

    Amnesty supporters in communities, big and small, from all across Canada are creating butterfly messages to make visible how they feel about a shocking epidemic of disappearances in Mexico, as well as threats to the safety of family members seeking the return of their loved ones.

    Monarch butterflies unite Mexico and Canada. Their annual life-giving migration across borders makes them the perfect symbol for Canadians to express our support for Mexican families courageously confronting an agonizing, hidden crisis.
     

    June 28, 2016

    An unprecedented Amnesty International investigation of 100 women arrested in Mexico reveals that they are routinely sexually abused by the security forces who want to secure confessions and boost figures in an attempt to show that they are tackling rampant organized crime.

    Read report - Surviving Death: Police and Military Torture of Women Mexico
      Take action - Demand Justice for torture survivor Miriam Lopez

    All of the 100 women held in federal prisons who reported torture or other ill-treatment to Amnesty International said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment or psychological abuse during their arrest and interrogation by municipal, state or federal police officers or members of the Army and Navy. Seventy-two said they were sexually abused during their arrest or in the hours that followed. Thirty-three reported being raped.

    June 28, 2016

    Women in prison

    Women make up nearly 7% of the population in federal prisons (Comisión Nacional de Seguridad , 2016)

    The vast majority of women detained in federal prisons are first time offenders, mostly imprisoned for drug-related crimes.

    There is evidence to suggest that torture and other ill-treatment is used frequently against people accused of high-profile crimes that fall within the public security strategy of the so-called “war on drugs.” Of the 100 women interviewed by Amnesty International, 33% had been accused of being part of organized crime groups, 23% had been accused of narcotics crimes, 22% had been accused of kidnapping and 14% with illegal possession of firearms.

    The federal prison population is largely made up by people from low income backgrounds. Data on the federal prison system shows that 60% of women in prison did not complete high school. (CIDE, 2012)

    Of the cases Amnesty International documented for this report, most women earned between 1,000 and 5,000 pesos a month (approximately US$70 to US$300) with some earning much less.

    Torture against women

    June 23, 2016
    Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada's Secetary-General, documents the Mexico Defensoras Delegation's visit to Ottawa on the eve of the Three Amigos summit. They came with an urgent message for Prime Minister Trudeau, President Peña Nieto and President Obama: Don't sweep Mexico's grave human rights crisis under the carpet!    The Mexico Defensoras Delegation are: Claudia Medina Tamariz- Breaking the Silence about Sexual Torture, Rompiendo el Silencio Brenda Rangel Ortiz - Justice for the Disappeared, Desaparecidos Justicia CA Marta Sanchez - Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano Pilar Arrese Alcaca - Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Centre, Centro Prodh   DAY 1
    June 23, 2016
    Delegation of Human Rights Defenders travels to Ottawa, demands substantive dialogue between Prime Minister Trudeau and President Peῆa Nieto on Mexico’s dire human rights crisis.   

    The deadly and steadily growing human rights crisis in Mexico must be at the top of the agenda in the upcoming meetings between Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and Mexican Prime Minister Peῆa Nieto, said a delegation of Mexican human rights defenders, Amnesty International and the Nobel Women’s Initiative.

    Staggering levels of human rights violations have been documented in Mexico. More than 100,000 people have been killed and 27,000 people reported missing or ‘disappeared’ in the last decade. There has been a marked increase in reports of grave abuses committed by police and security forces, including enforced disappearances and widespread use of torture.  Violence against women and girls is endemic. Impunity is rampant: with more than 7,000 complaints of torture officially filed between 2010 and 2013, there have only been 15 convictions in the last quarter century.

    June 20, 2016

    Days before the state visit to Canada of Mexico’s President and the North American Leaders Summit, four courageous women human rights defenders from Mexico are visiting Ottawa with a compelling message: it’s time to break the silence and take meaningful action to confront an acute human rights crisis in Mexico.

    The women are in Ottawa from June 21 to 23. They will hold a press conference on June 23 to make public devastating personal experiences they are sharing with Canadian government officials, MPs, Senators and members of civil society organizations, as well as the actions needed to stop the explosion of human rights violations in Mexico.

    A press conference will take place on Thursday June 23 at 10:30 AM

    in the Charles Lynch Press Room, Centre Block, House of Commons, Ottawa

    Speakers:

    June 08, 2016
    We want to send our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who demanded justice & freedom for Yecenia Armenta. You helped change a life. Every letter, email, action & phone call you made helped unlock the prison doors. After four years of injustice, Yecenia is finally free and with her family. 

     

    THANK YOU!

    PHOTO: Yecenia reunited with her family

    A judge´s decision to acquit mother of two Yecenia Armenta Graciano and release her from prison today in northern Mexico brings an end to four long years of injustice. 

    Yecenia sent a THANK YOU message to all who have taken up her case and campaigned for her release:

    "Right now I am overwhelmed by feelings that I am still coming to terms with. I feel joy, and so much emotion. "

    June 08, 2016

    A judge´s decision to acquit mother of two Yecenia Armenta Graciano and release her from prison today in northern Mexico brings an end to four long years of injustice, said Amnesty International.

    Yecenia Armenta Graciano was arbitrarily detained by Sinaloa state investigative police on 10 July 2012 and beaten, near-aspyxiated and raped during 15 hours of torture until she was forced to “confess” to involvement in the murder of her husband.

    “The incredible cruelty of the torture that Yecenia suffered is part of the daily customs of Mexico´s police who routinely present illegal evidence in criminal investigations all over the country. Her release today provides a small glimmer of hope for those unjustly detained in prisons all over the country,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    May 04, 2016

    A woman who was tortured for 15 hours to confess to a crime and has been languishing in prison for nearly four years must be released without delay, said Amnesty International ahead of a key decision on the case.

    Yecenia Armenta Graciano was arrested in July 2012 by local police officers in the northern state of Sinaloa. She was raped, asphyxiated and hung from her feet upside down until she was forced to confess to murdering her husband. The only direct evidence presented against her was the statement obtained under torture. She has been in prison since then.

    The Sinaloa Attorney General has a deadline of 5 May to inform the judge in charge of the case whether he thinks Yecenia should be convicted or acquitted. This is the same authority responsible for the torture of Yecenia.

    “Yecenia is one of thousands of victims of Mexico’s wicked judicial system, one that all too often relies on confessions extracted under torture and other ill-treatment to sentence people,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International. 

    May 04, 2016
    DOWNLOAD PDF HERE

    This is a drawing of Abel García Hernández. He was a student at a school in the small Mexican town of Ayotzinapa (pronounced Ah YO zi napa). Abel wanted to become a teacher. 

    In September 2014, police stopped the bus on which he was travelling. Abel was last seen being taken away with other students on the bus and put in police cars. But when their families went to the police station, Abel and the other students were not there. Officials said they knew nothing about them.

    It’s been more than a year now and still Abel’s family is no closer to finding him.

    Sadly, they are not the only families in this terrible situation. More than 27,000 people are now listed as disappeared in Mexico. 

    People do not just disappear into thin air. Somebody took them away.

    It is the duty of Mexican investigators to search for the disappeared and bring them back to their families.

    April 24, 2016

     

    TAKE ACTION: 43 Student Teachers and 27,000+ Others Missing in Mexico

    A damning report by an independent group of experts into the enforced disappearance of 43 Mexican students in September 2014 is yet another dark stain in the Mexican government's atrocious human rights record, said Amnesty International.

     The report, by an independent group of experts (GIEI) appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, contradicts the official version of events and criticizes the Mexican government's investigation to date.

    March 11, 2016

    The prosecution of five Mexican marines accused of the enforced disappearance of a man who was found dead weeks after his arrest in 2013 is a long awaited positive step that must herald a new official approach to tackling Mexico’s relentless wave of disappearances, said Amnesty International.

    “These arrests bring a ray of hope to the relatives of Armando del Bosque Villarreal and to the families of the tens of thousands of people whose whereabouts are still unknown across Mexico to finally obtain truth, justice and reparations,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “The Mexican authorities must urgently build on this positive move and ensure adequate investigations into the more than 27,000 cases of people who have been disappeared or gone missing in recent years. Brining those responsible to justice is the only way to stop this monumental human rights crisis.”

    Armando del Bosque Villarreal, 33, was forcibly disappeared in August 2013, after marines stopped his car and arrested him in the town of Colombia in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo León.

    March 08, 2016

     

    “When I receive all these letters saying that I’m not alone, it makes me feel great. And I think, yes, it’s true, I’m not alone. They really are supporting me.”  

    On January 29, 2016, Amnesty International visited Yecenia Armenta in prison and to deliver your letters of solidarity. Yecenia has spent more than three years in prison based on a "confession" she gave under torture. Worldwide attention was given to her case last December 10th during Amnesty International's global letter-writing event on International Human Rights Day.

    Yecenia is in good spirits and says she is immensely grateful for all the support she has been receiving from Amnesty International supporters:
     

    February 10, 2016

    The discovery of the dead body of a Mexican crime reporter who had been kidnapped on Monday is a tragic reminder of the harrowing reality faced by thousands of journalists across Mexico, one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers, said Amnesty International.

    The lifeless body of Anabel Flores Salazar, 32, was found in the state of Puebla, a few kilometres from where she was kidnapped by armed men on Monday. Anabel worked for a local newspaper in the violence-ridden state of Veracruz, one of the most dangerous states for journalists in Mexico. At least 16 media workers have been killed there since 2010.

    “The Mexican authorities must not waste one second in launching a thorough investigation into this brutal murder. The message must be crystal clear: those who are willing to stop at nothing to silence journalists will have to pay for their crimes,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    February 08, 2016

    Released Tuesday 9 February 2016, 00:01 GMT

    Mexico is facing a human rights crisis of epidemic proportions with disappearances, torture and brutal murders becoming the hallmarks of the country, said Amnesty International ahead of a state visit by Pope Francis.

    “As soon as he sets foot on Mexico City, Pope Francis will come face-to-face with one of the most troubling human rights crises in the whole of the Americas,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “From the tens of thousands of people who have gone missing, to the widespread use of torture and rising numbers of killings of women, to the utter lack of ability to investigate crimes, human rights abuses have become shorthand for Mexico.”

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