Human Rights in Mexico (February 26, 2017)

Source: Journal Metro France / AFP
February 26, 2017 Original publication in French on January 28, 2016)

In Mexico, women who have been arrested are being sexually abused by the authorities, confirms Amnesty

Amnesty International investigated the cases of 100 incarcerated women in the prisons of Mexico

The Mexican security forces regularly use forms of sexual abuse on the women they have arrested in hopes of obtaining a confession, revealed Amnesty International in report that was published on Tuesday.

An NGO based in London investigated the case of 100 women that are incarcerated in Mexico. All of them stated to have suffered forms of sexual harassment or psychological abuse during their arrest and their interrogation.

“Sexual Violence used as a form of torture seems to have become the norm”

According to Amnesty, ” 72 have said to have been abused sexually during their arrest or during the hours that followed. 33 have confirmed that they were violated”.

“When we talk about violence against women, the preferred method of the state is sexual violence. It was a shocking discovery” commented Madeleine Penman, the author of the report.

“What is described by these women, gives shocking insight on the prevalence of the torturing of women in Mexico” explains Erika Guevera-Rosas, director for the Americas of Amnesty International. According to her, “sexual violence that is used as a form of torture seems to have become a common occurrence during interrogations”.

According to NGO, the majority of incarcerated women have claimed to of been subjected to “sexual abuses, hits, electric shocks, palpations and touching while detained and during the interrogations”.

22 open investigations out of the 70 signaled

Out of the 100 interrogated women, 70 of them mentioned the aggressions to a judge or another state representative, “but the investigations weren’t looked into except for the 22 cases”, claims the report that emphasizes that “no one was pursued”.

The large majority of these women were accused of infractions associated with organized crime or narcotics. “A lot of them come from poor families, it’s what makes them less susceptible to have a defense worthy of the name” states Amnesty.

The “Monica Case”

Among the cases presented, one that stands out is of Monica, a 26 year old mother of 4, “who was violated by 6 police officers, was electrically shocked on her genitals, suffocated with a plastic bag and had her head in a bucket of water” in Coahuila (north) in 2013.

According to NGO, following this the police forced her to watch her brother and husband be tortured. On the way to the General Prosecutor’s office, her husband succumbed “in her arms after enduring the torture”. She was then forced to sign a “confession” saying she belonged to a drug cartel, added the document.

Despite a report from the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH), in August of 2014, that confirmed the acts of torture inflicted on the young woman, none of the stated individuals of her abuse have been accused, indicates the NGO.