On August 3, 2021, José Eduardo Ravelo died from multiple internal injuries, after telling his mother the police had tortured him in detention days before in Mérida, state of Yucatán. The prosecutor’s office carrying out the investigation of Jose Eduardo’s death has publicly stated that torture or ill treatment did not occur during his detention, even before concluding the investigation, raising serious doubts about the seriousness and impartiality of the prosecutors. We urge the Attorney General to ensure an independent and exhaustive investigation into all possible crimes committed against José Eduardo, and to guarantee full access to justice and reparations for his mother.
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Dear Attorney General,
I am extremely concerned by the public declarations recently made by the prosecutor’s office in charge of the ongoing investigation into the alleged torture of José Eduardo Ravelo at the hands of police officers in Mérida, state of Yucatán in July, and his subsequent death on August 3, 2021.
José Eduardo, 23, had travelled from Veracruz to Mérida for a job interview. According to his mother on July 23, 2021, José Eduardo told her the police had detained him two days before, and that agents the beat and sexually abused him. He died days later from multiple internal injuries.
According to the information received, the prosecutor’s office has refused to apply crucial guidelines to effectively document and investigate signs of torture (Istanbul Protocol). Despite this and that the investigation is still ongoing, on October 28, 2021, the prosecutor’s office publicly stated that based on the evidence gathered, José Eduardo was neither tortured nor sexually assaulted by police officers and that none of his rights had been violated. These hasty conclusions and omissions to apply the Istanbul protocol put at risk the rights of José Eduardo’s family to have his death and possible torture or ill treatment in police custody clarified with all due diligence.
I urge you to immediately ensure an independent, effective and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture, sexual assault and excessive use of force perpetrated against José Eduardo is carried on, in compliance with all existing guidelines including the Istanbul Protocol. His mother’s rights to justice and reparations must be fully guaranteed.