• Press Release

Mexico: Spike in torture reports reveals deepening human rights crisis

October 23, 2015

Mexico’s torture epidemic has reached new catastrophic levels with reports of asphyxiation, rape and other sexual abuse, electric shocks and beatings at the federal level more than doubling in the last year, said Amnesty International in a new report today as President Peña Nieto prepares to present a new Torture Bill to Congress.

“A year ago, it would have been hard to imagine how Mexico’s torture crisis could have gotten any worse and then it just did while the government continues to turn a blind eye to a crisis of their own creation,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

The number of torture complaints filed at the federal level more than doubled between 2013 and 2014 – from 1,165 to 2,403, according to data from Mexico’s Federal Attorney General´s Office.

The Federal Attorney General´s Office told Amnesty International that they have “no hard data” on any charges issued in 2014 against those responsible.

Despite the sharp increase in the number of reports of torture and ill-treatment, the number of possible victims examined by official forensic experts decreased in 2014. The Federal Attorney General has 1,600 pending requests to carry out forensic examinations for torture.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has promised to present a new bill on torture to Congress as a first step to tackle this crisis. However, with less than three months until the deadline for Congress to approve this law, the bill is yet to be presented.

“A robust law on torture that means more than words on paper and ensures justice would be a good first step for Mexico to finally move on from the deep human rights crisis it is immersed in,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas.

Background Information

The report Paper Promises, Daily Impunity: Mexico´s Torture Epidemic Continues is part of Amnesty International’s Stop Torture campaign to combat a “global crisis on torture”, launched in May 2014 and follows reports on torture in Morocco, Nigeria, the Philippines and Uzbekistan.

Amnesty International’s 2014 annual report on human rights in 160 countries reported torture and other ill-treatment in 82% of countries covered (131 out of 160).