Mexico: Evidence of cover-up and failure to investigate sexual abuse claims
Mexico States authorities failed to seriously investigate allegations of at least 23 reports of sexual abuse by security forces in San Salvador Atenco, during police operations five months, Amnesty International revealed in a new report published today.
The organisation has also found evidence of an attempt to cover-up evidence of such abuse, and today urged Mexico Federal Authorities to take over investigations into these allegations.
Kerrie Howard, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Americas Programme said:
“The state authorities have placed the burden of proof on the victims, while seeking to discredit their allegations.”
A number of the Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who made these allegations told Amnesty International that the Mexico state authorities refused to allow them to file criminal complaints and did not provide them with appropriate medical or psychological attention – essential in securing critical evidence in cases of sexual abuse.
Maria Garcia (not her real name) told Amnesty International that when she informed the official from the State prosecutor’s office that she intended to file a complaint of rape, another official, who was supervising the taking of statements, said the issue of rape could not be recorded and ripped the paper from his typewriter.
Margarita Reyes (not her real name), another of the Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who was allegedly sexually abused when taken into custody, said:
“When I arrived at the prison, the forensic doctor did not want to certify that I had been raped. It seems unfair to me that I shouldn’t be believed, that someone can believe that I made it up.”
Kerrie Howard said:
"Given the seriousness of the crimes and the constant failures of the State authorities to effectively investigate the allegations of abuse, it is high time for the Federal Prosecutor on Crimes against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights to take over. These crimes are acts of torture under international law and the authorities must ensure that those responsible are held to account.”
The Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights were amongst 211 people arrested during a two day police operation in the towns of Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco, Mexico State. The operation aimed to stop protests by a local peasant farmer organisation, Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra.
To date, seven Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and 21 men remain in custody accused of kidnapping police during the demonstration.
Amnesty International is urging authorities to ensure that judicial proceedings against those in detention or on bail meet fair trial standards. The organisation is also calling for a full and impartial investigation into the serious human rights violations committed during the police operation in Atenco.
Amnesty International members across the region -- including in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Canada, and in Spain -- will also urge representatives of the Mexican government in their countries to take action to ensure prompt and effective investigations.
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