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Parliamentarians react with concern to eyewitness testimony from survivor of torture in Mexico and well-documented reports about the country’s grave human rights crisis

    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.

    Members of the House of Commons committee also expressed consternation over testimony from Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada and Luis Tapia of the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Centre (Centro Prodh), who underscored that Ángel’s traumatic treatment is no isolated case amidst a human rights crisis that has exploded since the deployment of Mexico’s military to fight a so-called war on drugs. Both human rights experts drew attention to an exponential increase in reports of torture as a method of investigation, forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions by state security forces.

    The palpable impact produced by yesterday’s hearing of the House of Commons committee, builds on the visible concern generated by the testimony of Hilda Legideño, mother of Marco Antonio Tizapa Ledigeño, one of 43 students from a teacher training college in Ayotzinapa who were disappeared following a police operation last September. During a hearing to the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights on April 28, 2015, Ms Legideño called on Canada to support efforts to uncover the truth and bring to justice those responsible for a crime that is symptomatic of a grave crisis of forced disappearances in Mexico.

    Amnesty International and the Centro Prodh draw attention to the worrying findings of UN experts, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Méndez, who concludes that there is a generalized practice of torture in Mexico, and the UN Committee on Forced Disappearances which concludes that forced disappearances are taking place in many regions of Mexico.

    During the hearing on June 2, members of the House of Commons committee studying Mexico expressed alarm over the vast increase in reports of torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions in Mexico, amidst an absence of investigation and near total impunity for the authorities responsible.

    Background:

    Ángel Colón Quevedo y Luis Tapia Olivares arrived in Ottawa, after speaking at Amnesty International Canada’s AGM and a human rights conference in Halifax.

    In Ottawa, they also met with officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Development to call on Canada to use its close bilateral relationship with Mexico to press for measures to halt the human rights crisis in that country.

    Ángel Amílcar Colón Quevedo was tortured by police and military in northern Mexico. He spent more than five years in a high security prison, solely on the basis of a “confession” extracted under torture. He was named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International in July 2014 and was released from jail in October 2014, with all charges against him dismissed. Those responsible for torturing him and for failing to investigate his denunciation of torture have yet to be sanctioned.

     

    For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

    Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Officer, Amnesty International Canada, 416-363-9933 ext. 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

    Narce Santibañez, Enlace con medios en Mexico, Centro Prodh, 55466559, 04455 8531 2218 medios@centroprodh.org.mx

     

    • 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.

    Members of the House of Commons committee also expressed consternation over testimony from Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada and Luis Tapia of the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Centre (Centro Prodh), who underscored that Ángel’s traumatic treatment is no isolated case amidst a human rights crisis that has exploded since the deployment of Mexico’s military to fight a so-called war on drugs. Both human rights experts drew attention to an exponential increase in reports of torture as a method of investigation, forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions by state security forces.

    The palpable impact produced by yesterday’s hearing of the House of Commons committee, builds on the visible concern generated by the testimony of Hilda Legideño, mother of Marco Antonio Tizapa Ledigeño, one of 43 students from a teacher training college in Ayotzinapa who were disappeared following a police operation last September. During a hearing to the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights on April 28, 2015, Ms Legideño called on Canada to support efforts to uncover the truth and bring to justice those responsible for a crime that is symptomatic of a grave crisis of forced disappearances in Mexico.

    Amnesty International and the Centro Prodh draw attention to the worrying findings of UN experts, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Méndez, who concludes that there is a generalized practice of torture in Mexico, and the UN Committee on Forced Disappearances which concludes that forced disappearances are taking place in many regions of Mexico.

    During the hearing on June 2, members of the House of Commons committee studying Mexico expressed alarm over the vast increase in reports of torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions in Mexico, amidst an absence of investigation and near total impunity for the authorities responsible.

    Background:

    Ángel Colón Quevedo y Luis Tapia Olivares arrived in Ottawa, after speaking at Amnesty International Canada’s AGM and a human rights conference in Halifax.

    In Ottawa, they also met with officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Development to call on Canada to use its close bilateral relationship with Mexico to press for measures to halt the human rights crisis in that country.

    Ángel Amílcar Colón Quevedo was tortured by police and military in northern Mexico. He spent more than five years in a high security prison, solely on the basis of a “confession” extracted under torture. He was named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International in July 2014 and was released from jail in October 2014, with all charges against him dismissed. Those responsible for torturing him and for failing to investigate his denunciation of torture have yet to be sanctioned.

    For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

    Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Officer, Amnesty International Canada, 416-363-9933 ext. 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

    Narce Santibañez, Enlace con medios en Mexico, Centro Prodh, 55466559, 04455 8531 2218 medios@centroprodh.org.mx