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    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.”

    February 02, 2016

    By Kathy Price, Amnesty International Canada’s campaigner on Mexico

    Stéphane Dion has an important opportunity to set a new course for hemispheric diplomacy when he hosts his counterparts from Mexico and the United States at the North American Foreign Ministers meeting on Friday.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already promised a leaders’ summit to reinvigorate the Three Amigos partnership. As the foreign ministers meet to lay the groundwork, a worsening human rights crisis in Mexico must figure prominently on the agenda.

    The dimensions of the crisis were made glaringly visible in September 2014, when police in the town of Iguala opened fire on buses carrying students from a rural teacher-training college. Three were killed and 43 other students were taken away, ‘disappearing’ into thin air. Their relatives and classmates have spent 16 agonizing months trying unsuccessfully to find the 43 amidst an official investigation so flawed as to provoke widespread allegations of a cover-up aimed at hiding the truth about what happened — and who was involved.

    January 14, 2016

    Released Thursday 14 January 2016 at 00:01Hs Mexico (06:01Hs GMT)

    Systemic incompetence and a complete lack of will by State and Federal authorities in Mexico to properly search for and investigate the disappearance of thousands of people is fuelling a human rights crisis of epidemic proportions, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

    ‘Treated with indolence’: The state’s response to disappearances in Mexico reveals how the deep failings in the investigation into the enforced disappearance of 43 students in the southern state of Guerrero in September 2014 are mirrored in the northern state of Chihuahua and across the country. According to official figures, the whereabouts of more than 27,000 people remain unknown, many of them have been forcibly disappeared.

    “The relentless wave of disappearances that is taking over Chihuahua and the utterly reckless way in which the investigation into the enforced disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students is being handled show the Mexican authorities’ total disregard for human rights and human dignity,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    December 11, 2015

    Two new bills addressing the epidemic levels of torture and disappearances in Mexico offer a ray of hope for victims and family members, Amnesty International said today after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the two bills to be presented before Congress.

    "Torture and disappearances are like a plague in Mexico that needs to be eradicated," said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    Amnesty International has campaigned for over a year to combat torture in Mexico and has frequently highlighted the situation of disappearances in the country, including the case of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa subjected to enforced disappearance since September 2014.

    For too long victims and their relatives have waited for an end to Mexico's widespread use of torture and the countless number of disappearances.

    December 09, 2015

    By Kathy Price, Mexico campaigner for Amnesty International Canada

    The hug, the smiling faces outside the barbed wire perimeter of El Hongo Prison, tell this latest good news story from Mexico!

    Adrián Vásquez is free from a nightmare of torture and unjust imprisonment – free, at last, to return to his wife Judith and their family.

    Adrián’s release came in the early morning of December 2nd, more than three years after he was picked up by police in Tijuana and tortured so badly that he required life-saving surgery. The 33-year-old bus driver and father of four was driving his car when police pulled him over, accused him of being a notorious drug trafficker driving a stolen vehicle.  Their “evidence” alone was used to charge and imprison Adrián for three anguished years while his trial was ongoing.


    Hours after Adrián’s release, there was more good news!

    December 03, 2015

    In the past 24 hours, judges in two states in northern Mexico have released torture victims who have spent years in prison away from their families and young children, providing hope for justice in countless similar cases of people tortured and detained unfairly, Amnesty International said today.

    Bus driver and father of four Adrián Vásquez was released in the early morning of 2 December from prison near Tijuana, more than three years after he was arrested and tortured by state police and accused of being a high-level drug trafficker.

    Just hours later, Cristel Piña, a 25-year-old mother of two, was released from a prison in Ciudad Juárez, more than two years after being arrested and brutally beaten and tortured with sexual violence until she agreed to confess on videotape to extortion. Amnesty International campaigned for both of these survivors of torture.

    November 12, 2015

    By Kathy Price, Mexico Campaigner at Amnesty International Canada

    My heart is aching for an unforgettable mother and sister who shared their story with me during an Amnesty Canada delegation to Mexico.

    I can well imagine the wrenching emotions they are feeling at this time of such traumatic importance for their family.

    It was this week, six years ago - on November 10, to be precise - when the unimaginable happened. Their loved one, a young man named Héctor Rangel Ortiz started the day with laughter, teasing his mother over breakfast. Later he phoned from a business trip to say he'd been stopped by police in the city of Monclova. His family would never see him again.

    “How I wish it was all a nightmare, a bad dream from which I could wake up,” Héctor’s sister Brenda posted on Facebook. “It's so painful not to know ... There are no words to describe it. Wherever you are Héctor, we send you love, light and hope.”

    November 10, 2015

     The acquittal of a young woman who was tortured into confessing to the crime of extortion is long awaited good news but Mexico must ensure those responsible for the abuse she suffered face justice and that she receives reparation, said Amnesty International.

    “The fact that a young woman has been forced to spend two years in prison after being tortured to confess to a crime speaks volumes about the state of the Mexican judicial system,” said Erika-Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “While we welcome Cristel’s acquittal, justice will not be done until those who sexually tortured her into confessing to a crime are put behind bars and a strong message is sent that torture is never acceptable.”
    Cristel Fabiola Piña Jasso, a 25-year old mother of two, was today acquitted by a court in Chihuahua, northern Mexico after spending two years in prison. The judge found there was not sufficient evidence against her and ordered a federal investigation into the torture she suffered.

    November 05, 2015

    “I will carry on searching for my brother even if it costs me my life.”

    These are the agonizing words of Brenda Rangel Ortiz, seen at right in a happier moment with her brother Héctor. He was on a business trip on November 10, 2009 when he phoned to say he had been stopped by municipal police in the town of Monclova. He was never seen again.

    Brenda and her family have knocked on countless doors, in their efforts to find Héctor. It's a dangerous undertaking.

    “We’ve received death threats warning us not to look for Hector, not to investigate what happened,” reports Brenda. “But we will not give up.”

    Brenda’s quest is fuelled by both love and anguish. “I don’t know where he is, if he is still alive, if he is being tortured,” she says.

    October 27, 2015

    By Kathy Price, Mexico campaigner with Amnesty International Canada

    There’s good news and bad news, as the old saying goes.

    The good news has names like Ángel Colón (left) and Claudia Medina (below right). Both of them were tortured by Mexican security forces to extract ‘confessions’ but ultimately released from that nightmare, the unjust charges against them dropped, after Amnesty supporters flooded authorities with messages of concern.

    There have been other promising developments since Amnesty issued a damning report in September 2014 entitled Out of Control: Torture and Other Ill-Treatment in Mexico.  

    October 23, 2015

    Released  23 October 2015, 00:01Hs Mexico (05:01 GMT)

    Mexico’s torture epidemic has reached new catastrophic levels with reports of asphyxiation, rape and other sexual abuse, electric shocks and beatings at the federal level more than doubling in the last year, said Amnesty International in a new report today as President Peña Nieto prepares to present a new Torture Bill to Congress.

    “A year ago, it would have been hard to imagine how Mexico’s torture crisis could have gotten any worse and then it just did while the government continues to turn a blind eye to a crisis of their own creation,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    The number of torture complaints filed at the federal level more than doubled between 2013 and 2014 – from 1,165 to 2,403, according to data from Mexico’s Federal Attorney General´s Office.

    The Federal Attorney General´s Office told Amnesty International that they have “no hard data” on any  charges issued in 2014 against those responsible.

    October 12, 2015

    In support of Amnesty International’s campaign against disappearances in Mexico, world-renowned singer and songwriter Sting met with relatives of some of the thousands who have gone missing in the country in recent years.

    “It is not hard to imagine the anguish and torment that families undergo when a loved one disappears, vanishes without trace or explanation, when attempts to find them or discover their fate are frustrated by the apparent indifference of the authorities to a situation that has become an epidemic in Mexico,” said Sting.

    “I met with some of the families, but they are just the tip of the iceberg, I call on the Mexican government to follow up on these cases far more vigorously, to find and prosecute those responsible and to prevent through legislation this scourge of disappearances and human rights abuses.”


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