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.
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
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. "
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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:
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.