Melzer: torture by police is widespread. Melzer: police use torture repeatedly to obtain confessions.

UN expert on torture: it’s widespread in MX

Police forces use torture to obtain confessions and as punishment, says Special Rapporteur

A United Nations report charges that Mexico’s police forces repeatedly use torture and ill-treatment to obtain confessions or as a punishment.

The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture said the practice is widespread and includes asphyxiation, sexual violence, electric shocks, death threats, beatings and psychological torture.

The report by Nils Melzer also confirmed the existence of “a situation of insecurity and impunity” and maintained that the fight against organized crime has resulted in more cases of torture and ill-treatment. Such cases are not being properly investigated either, he wrote.

“Despite the pronouncements of public officials, there is no indication of impartial and independent investigations, all of which is linked to the impunity that prevails in Mexico.”

The report acknowledged that Mexico is about to pass legislation in connection with the issue, and requested the country’s authorities to avoid “exceptions and reject all proof obtained through torture.” It urged that all human rights violations be prosecuted by civil authorities even if those crime were committed by the military

“Crimes against humanity are committed [in Mexico] by military security forces, in the context of the fight against drugs,” said the director of a human rights advocacy organization.

“Acts of torture happen because no investigations or punishments are enforced . . . and there’s no will on the part of the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice,” said José Antonio Guevara.

Source: Animal Político (sp)

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