Philip Hammond and Nick Clegg must speak out about Mexico's torture problem
Update, 5 March: Following your actions on Facebook and Twitter, human rights were raised with President Peña Nieto several times during his visit, by both the Deputy PM Nick Clegg, and by David Cameron. Thank you for taking action and ensuring the government couldn't sidestep the issue during the President's state visit.
On 7 August 2012 at around 3am, Claudia Medina was awoken and forcefully taken from her home in eastern Mexico. Blindfolded, her hands tied, she was taken in a pickup truck to a room where she says she was given electric shocks, beaten, kicked, and sexually assaulted. Her captors tried to rape her with a metal bar.
One of them said to her:
'We're going to show you some photos. When you get to the place where we're bringing you, you're going to say that you know these people. Because if you don't, we're going to do everything we just did to you again.'
Her torturers? Mexican marines, trying to force a confession out of her and convict Claudia of a crime she says she knew nothing about.
But Claudia is is not the only person struggling to receive justice in Mexico and the statistics are not on her side.
Since 2003, complaints of torture by police, marines and other agents of the state have risen 600%. Very few complaints result in prosecutions. Nearly two-thirds of Mexicans fear they would be tortured if taken into custody by government authorities and yet President Peña Nieto’s government still denies torture is a widespread problem.
Tomorrow, President Peña Nieto starts a three-day State visit. I’m sure he will be keen to talk up Mexico’s tourism and business opportunities for the UK. But his welcoming party (which includes Nick Clegg and the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond) mustn’t ignore the stories of people like Claudia and role of the police and military in beatings, electric shocks and other barbaric acts of torture - ask them to raise the issue with Peña Nieto this week.
The UK government called Mexico a ‘country full of opportunities’ for UK investment – but if you’re poor and in the wrong place, it seems to be anything but.
We need to show Philip Hammond and Nick Clegg how many of us oppose Mexico’s use of torture, and that they have to speak up. And we need to ask them publicly to increase the pressure, so please send a tweet and leave a message on the Foreign Office's Facebook page.
1. Send two tweets to #stoptorture in Mexico
Deputy Prime Minister
Don't turn a blind eye to torture in Mexico - tell President Peña Nieto he must speak out & #stoptorture
Don't stay silent on torture in Mexico - tell President Peña Nieto he must speak out & #stoptorture
2. Challenge the Foreign Office on Facebook
Please also leave a comment for the Foreign Office on their Facebook page, asking if they'll raise our concerns about torture during the President's visit - you'll need to comment on a post the FCO have made. You could use the twitter text above, or write your own message. Just click the image below to go to their page:
Until President Peña Nieto’s recognises the scale of the problem and ensures those responsible for these barbaric acts are brought to justice, torturers in Mexico will continue to get away with it.
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