Full, Impartial Investigation Into Death of Mexican Man Who Denounced Police Abuse Needed

Press Release
June 4, 2013

Full, Impartial Investigation Into Death of Mexican Man Who Denounced Police Abuse Needed

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @AIUSAmedia

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The killing of a man who took a stand against police kidnapping, torture and extortion in Mexico's northern border city of Ciudad Juárez must be subjected to an effective, impartial investigation, Amnesty International said today.

Eligio Ibarra Amador, 62, was found dead on April 12 after unknown attackers entered his home and stabbed him before setting his body alight.

In September 2011, the businessman denounced members of the federal police for torture and extortion after they allegedly abducted him from his home. Ten police officers have been detained in connection with the incident.

"Eligio Ibarra Amador's death is especially regrettable given his courage to denounce federal police officers' role in his torture and extortion," said Rupert Knox, Amnesty International's Mexico expert. "Mexico's authorities must promptly complete an impartial and full investigation to bring to light the facts surrounding his killing and to rule out revenge as a motive."

Ibarra Amador's killing reportedly came just before he was due to attend a court procedure related to the case.

When the businessman filed a complaint with the federal Attorney General's office last September, he accused the federal police officers of abducting him from his home and torturing him before threatening to incriminate him as a drug trafficker if he failed to pay them $5,000.

Amnesty International urges Mexican authorities to ensure full protection to Eligio Ibarra Amador's family members remaining in Mexico and others who may be at risk because of the case.

"In a sensitive case like this, it's extraordinary that the authorities failed to provide efficient and reliable protection for Emilio Ibarra Amador and his family - this must be remedied immediately to guarantee the safety of anyone else at risk," said Knox. "It should come as no surprise that citizens in Mexico are reluctant to step forward and denounce human rights violations by public officials when there is little or no provisions to ensure their security."

Amnesty International calls on the Mexican authorities to proceed with the kidnapping and extortion case against the federal police and to bring those responsible to justice.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.