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Mexico: Reparations and compensation for torture survivor are urgently needed

    Photo: © Amnesty International / Guillermo Arias
    September 05, 2019

    Seven years after the illegal detention and torture of Adrián Vásquez Lagunes at the hands of the Baja California State Police, authorities still have not compensated him or his family, said Amnesty International today.

    “The governor of Baja California has an opportunity to leave a legacy before he ends his term, ensuring that Adrián Vásquez and his family do not have to wait any longer for the justice they are owed,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    Amnesty International documented and publicly denounced the case of Adrián Vásquez Lagunes when it occurred. He was detained by state police as he drove in Tijuana on 26 September 2012. During the 12 hours that he remained in police custody, he was subjected to threats, beatings, and near-asphyxiation – including by forcing water into his nose. Afterwards, police presented him to the media declaring that he was a known drug trafficker. Vásquez Lagunes spent three years in prison unjustly on false charges. He was released from prison in December 2015.

    Seven years after his detention, comprehensive reparation for his case is urgently necessary. It should be noted that, as part of the obligation to compensate victims comprehensively, the United Nations Committee Against Torture has recommended that compensation for cases of torture must be prompt, just, and adequate. However, Vásquez Lagunes and his family have been forced to live in precarious economic conditions as the State of Baja California has failed to fulfill Recommendation No. 15/15, issued on 5 May 2015 by the then Human Rights and Citizen Protection Ombudsman’s Office, which stipulated that authorities should compensate him without delay.

    Mexico is a country in which torture and abuse remain widespread. Given this context, Amnesty International urges the authorities of the State of Baja California to eliminate any obstacle that impedes or delays comprehensive compensation for damages suffered by Adrián Vásquez Lagunes and to promptly fulfill the state’s obligation to effect this compensation.

    For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Lucy Scholey, Media Relations, Amnesty International Canada (English branch), 613-744-7667 ext. 236 lscholey@amnesty.ca

    Read more:

    Mexico's injustices fall like dominoes as two torture victims released in 24 hours due to illegal evidence (News, 3 December 2015)

    Torture victim must be released from prison (Urgent Action, 5 August 2015)

     

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