Friday, December 8, 2023

18 years later, government agrees to compensation for torture, arbitrary detention

A compensation agreement reached between the government and a man who was illegally arrested and tortured by federal agents in 2001 has been approved by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Mexico has agreed to pay financial compensation to medical doctor José Antonio Bolaños Juárez and publicly acknowledge the violations of his human rights.

In evidence Bolaños presented to the commission, he said 40 masked agents of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) broke into his clinic in 2001 and destroyed his property. Ten days later, he was arrested and taken to a parking garage under a government building where police tortured him, threatening to kill him if he did not confess to being a kidnapper.

After one officer inserted a stick into Bolaños’ rectum, causing internal bleeding, he was rushed to a hospital for surgery. He was later charged with and convicted of kidnapping, and in 2003 he was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

He spent more than a decade in jail before his conviction was overturned, and was released in 2013.

Bolaños presented a petition to the IACHR in 2004, while he was still in prison, claiming the violation of his human rights by the Mexican state.

According to his petition, the PGR framed him for kidnapping because it was under pressure to produce results in anti-kidnapping efforts.

“The PGR fabricated these crimes in order to offer something to media and family members of people who had been kidnapped by the Los Colmeneros gang,” reads the petition.

In 2016, Bolaños and the Mexican state agreed to seek an amicable agreement, which the parties signed in 2018.

Under the agreement, the Mexican government took responsibility for the human rights violations and the payment of damages to Bolaños for the violation of his rights.

The government has also agreed to compensate him for loss of earnings, although the amount has not been determined and provide him with free healthcare, to expunge his criminal record, and improve training for police officers.

Source: Reforma (sp), Somos Mass 99 (sp)

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