MEXICO: Raise your voice with Claudia to stop torture
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.
Claudia's mother and neighbours witnessed the detention but marines later claimed in their evidence to the prosecutor to have arrested her in possession of firearms, with an armed gang in a stolen car, 24 hours later than her actual detention.
At the navy base, marines gave Claudia electric shocks, beat her, and sexually assaulted her, amongst other forms of torture. They threatened to bring her children to the torture chamber if she did not “confess” to involvement in an armed, criminal gang.
Claudia signed a “confession” she was not allowed to read. Then she was presented to the media as a dangerous criminal by state officials anxious to show results in the “war on drugs”.
When she was put before the court days later, Claudia retracted the statement she had been forced to sign and informed the court about the torture she had suffered. She was released on bail pending the outcome of judicial proceedings.
All criminal charges against Claudia have now been dropped. However, no one has been held to account for the torture she suffered, even though a judge requested the Attorney General’s Office to investigate. Claudia filed a complaint of torture with Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission on October 17, 2012.
Lack of justice sends a message that torture is tolerated in Mexico. This is a green light for other people to be tortured. “From what I saw in that Marine facility where I was detained, many people are being tortured,” says Claudia. “I want punishment for those who tortured me and that they don't go on torturing others."
PLEASE TAKE ACTION
Write a short, polite letter to Mexico’s Attorney General:
• Express your dismay at the torture suffered by Claudia Medina in August 2012 at a naval base and the fact that nobody has been brought to justice to date.
• Urge the Attorney General to carry out a full, prompt and impartial investigation into the torture suffered by Claudia Medina, make the results public and bring those responsible to account.
• Also call on him to mandate medical examinations of detainees at the moment when they are taken into custody or transferred so that evidence of torture is adequately and safely recorded by trained civilian medical staff, enabling both protection of detainees and justice.
Arely Gómez González, Federal Attorney General
Procuraduría General de la República
Paseo de la reforma 211-213
Col. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06500
México D.F., Mexico
Fax: 011 52 55 5346 0908 (say: "Fax por favor")
Given Canada's close relationship with Mexico, send a copy of your letter to:
Hon. Stéphane Dion
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6