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Mexico

    July 03, 2015

    The Mexican civilian authorities must urgently investigate a recently uncovered military document that seems to indicate that the killing of 22 people in June 2014 was not the outcome of a clash between soldiers and a criminal gang as the military reported, but the direct result of an order to “take down criminals”, said Amnesty International.

    “This military order has come to light in the midst of the most grievous human rights crisis in Mexico’s recent history which has resulted in thousands of people killed or disappeared. It is fundamental that President Enrique Peña Nieto publicly condemns this act and makes a public commitment to human rights by ordering a prompt, thorough and independent investigation by civilian authorities into the way the armed forces are implementing the government’s security policy,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    June 30, 2015
    AI Canada's Secretary General Alex Neve congratulates former prisoner of conscience and torture survivor Angel Amílcar Colón Quevedo after his inspiring speech at Amnesty's AGM

    By Kathy Price, Mexico Campaigner with Amnesty International Canada

    I’m betting that no one who met Garifuna defender and former prisoner of conscience Angel Amílcar Colón Quevedo during his recent visit to Canada will forget his incredible smile or his inspiring words. I certainly won’t!

    June 24, 2015

    Yecenia Armenta Graciano has spent almost three years in prison, while the men who brutally tortured her remain free.

    Her nightmare began in 2012, while she was driving relatives to the Culiacán airport in the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa. Plain-clothed state policemen pulled her car over, forced her out, blindfolded her and drove her away. They subjected her to near asphyxiation with a plastic bag over her head, poured water over a cloth covering her mouth to simulate drowning, hung her upside down naked, and raped her. “I wanted them to just give me a bullet to the head so that it would all stop”, she says.

    After almost 15 hours of torture, the police officers threatened to bring in Yecenia’s children to rape and kill them. It was at that moment that Yecenia succumbed to their demands to sign a confession to involvement in the murder of her husband, all while still blindfolded.

    June 23, 2015

     

    Angel Amílcar Colón Quevedo was tortured and unjustly detained in Mexico. He is seeking justice and reparations in order to protect others from what he suffered.

    Angel Amílcar Colón Quevedo is a defender of the rights of his people, the Garifuna Indigenous people of Honduras. He was travelling through Mexico in search of work that would enable him to pay for cancer treatment for his son when he was detained by police in the northern city of Tijuana in March 9, 2009. What followed was a nightmare of torture and injustice.

    Angel was tortured by the police then handed over to soldiers at a military base who beat him, subjected him to water-boarding, and put a plastic bag over his head then jumped on his chest to cause near asphyxiation, amongst other forms of physical and psychological torture. He was forced to sign a confession to crimes he had not committed.

    June 18, 2015
    Kassidy Goyette, Tanis Moreland and Gail Klinck of Massey Vanier High School stand in solidarity with Hilda Legideño Vargas and her son Jorge Antonio, one of 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa

    By Kassidy Goyette, a student at Massey Vanier High School in Cowansville, Quebec.

    I would have never imagined that the petition created by our “small but mighty” Social Action Committee from Massey-Vanier High School would have such impact. It was amazing to have the opportunity to actually hand it over to Mexico’s Ambassador in Ottawa, see his reaction, and hear him say that he would ensure it reached the office of President Peña Nieto in Mexico.

    June 17, 2015

    Released 18/06/2015 00.01 GMT

    Mexican authorities must urgently investigate a shocking spike of violent attacks against undocumented migrants by criminal gangs and provide a safe haven for survivors, said Amnesty International.

    More than 200 migrants, including several children, were violently attacked and several killed by armed groups in two separate attacks in the last two weeks. The whereabouts of more than 130 are still unknown, prompting fears for their life and security.

    “Mexico has become a death trap for migrants, with vicious criminal gangs at every corner waiting for their opportunity to attack them for a few dollars, while authorities at the state and federal level are more eager to deport people than to save lives,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “Many migrants have died and disappeared while trying to reach the USA in the past few years, the only question left is how many more lives have to be lost before authorities wake up and decide to take action.”

    June 03, 2015

    • Ángel Amílcar Colón moves MPs with his testimony about torture at the hands of Mexican police and military

    • Amnesty International and Centro Prodh denounce widespread use of torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions in Mexico

    Ottawa – June 3, 2015  Members of the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights, currently undertaking a study of the human rights situation in Mexico, expressed deep concern in response to testimony yesterday from Ángel Amílcar Colón Quevedo about the torture to which he was subjected by Mexican state security forces while detained in military installations of the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena). The goal of the torture, Mr Colon Quevedo said, was to extract a forced confession to crimes he had not committed.

    April 29, 2015

    (Ottawa)  The mother of one of 46 student-teachers who were extrajudicially executed or forcibly disappeared during an attack by police and gunmen in Iguala, Mexico last September, made a heart-felt appeal for Canadian action to policy makers at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development in Ottawa today. 

    “It has been seven months and we still do not know where our children are,” testified Hilda Legideño Vargas, whose twenty year old son Jorge Antonio disappeared with 42 other students of a teacher-training college in Ayotzinapa on September 26, 2014.  “Premature statements by Mexican authorities, without reliable evidence, have caused us to distrust their willingness to get to the bottom of what actually happened and who is responsible. We’re asking Canada to speak up and support our efforts to find our children.”

    April 28, 2015

    (Ottawa, April 28, 2015) The mother of one of 46 students from a teacher-training college in the Mexican community of Ayotzinapa who were killed or forcibly disappeared during a September 2014 attack by Mexican police and gunmen will testify before Parliament’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights this afternoon, along with a surviving student and a lawyer for the families of the victims.

    Their goal is to make visible a disturbing pattern of grave abuses perpetrated by state security forces, and call for attention to serious failures on the part of government authorities to protect human rights in Mexico, a country that Canada has designated a so-called “safe country”.

    The members of the Mexican delegation who will testify to Canadian MPs are:

    • Hilda Legideño Vargas, whose son Jorge Antonio was forcibly disappeared in the September 2014 attack;

    • Jorge Luis Clemente Balbuena, a student leader at the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college;

    April 17, 2015

    By Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

    The tremendous news that three Mexican police officers have been criminally charged with torturing Adrián Vázquez in Tijuana in 2012 is a historic breakthrough; and a great day for justice.  It is obviously very welcome news for Adrián himself; and it can and must spur greater efforts across Mexico to ensure that those who have been responsible for the staggering crisis of torture the country has faced over the past decade are held accountable.

    April 16, 2015

    Three police officers have been charged with torture in the northern state of Baja California following a steadfast campaign by victim Adrián Vázquez Lagunes, his family and their lawyer, supported by Amnesty International. This is the first time torture charges have been brought in a state which is notorious for torture complaints.

    Adrián Vázquez Lagunes was arrested, threatened, beaten and nearly asphyxiated during a 12-hour spell in state police custody in 2012. The Federal Attorney General’s Office later accused him of illegally carrying firearms and being a high profile drug trafficker, while ignoring his allegations of arbitrary arrest, torture and fabrication of evidence. He remains in detention while his trial is ongoing despite the fact that the only relevant evidence against him was allegedly planted on him by the police.

    March 26, 2015

    Mexican authorities have made shamefully little progress in their investigation into the enforced disappearance of 43 student teachers from Guerrero State, said Amnesty International today, six months on from the tragedy.

    “The past six months have been a period of heartbreak and torment for the family and friends of those who were forcibly disappeared last September. Despite worldwide attention on the issue, the Mexican authorities have failed to properly pursue all lines of investigation, especially the worrying allegations of complicity by armed forces. The Mexican authorities cannot wait even one day more, but must act now to bring those responsible to justice,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director Amnesty International.

    “Six hours after the students went missing we were worried for their safety. Six weeks on we were frustrated and saddened by the lack of progress in the search for their whereabouts. But now, six months later, we are absolutely horrified by the abject failure of the Mexican government to get to the full truth of what happened to these young men and bring those responsible to justice.”

    March 20, 2015

    What happened?
      
    Alfonso Martín del Campo spent nearly 23 years in prison after being convicted in 1992 for the murder of his sister and brother-in-law. But he confessed to these crimes only after being tortured.
     
    Alfonso Alfonso Martín del Campo was detained in May 1992 in Mexico City. Police officers beat, smothered and threatened him. Years later, a police officer admitted that he and other officers had tortured him. But for more than two decades, the authorities ignored this and other evidence of his torture, including medical reports.
     
    Mexico's Supreme Court finally ordered Alfonso Martín del Campo Dodd’s release on March 18.
      
    "Alfonso Martín del Campo's release is a long-overdue victory for justice," said Perseo Quiroz, Executive Director of Amnesty International Mexico. "His case should have been thrown out decades ago after torture was used to extract his confession." confession."
     
    How are Amnesty supporters helping to end torture in Mexico?
     

    March 19, 2015

    A Mexican Supreme Court judgement ordering the immediate release of a man jailed more than two decades ago on the basis of a confession extracted under torture is an important victory for justice, Amnesty International said today.

    The Supreme Court ordered Alfonso Martín del Campo Dodd’s release on 18 March. He spent nearly 23 years in prison after being convicted in 1992 for the murder of his sister and brother-in-law, crimes he only confessed to after being arbitrarily detained and tortured in Mexico City.

    “Alfonso Martín del Campo Dodd’s release is a long-overdue victory for justice. His case should have been thrown out decades ago after torture was used to extract his confession – a clear violation of international human rights law,” said Perseo Quiroz, Executive Director of Amnesty International Mexico.

    “This Supreme Court ruling again underscores the urgency of tackling the widespread use of torture in Mexico’s justice system, something highlighted earlier this month by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.”

    February 18, 2015

    Marines broke into Claudia Medina's home in Veracruz City on August 7, 2012 and took her away to a naval base where she was subjected to physical, sexual and psychological torture.

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