17 | OCT | 2019
Sexual torture: 8 in every 10 women arrested are sexually abused in Mexico
Over 100 civil society organizations will meet with the UN to report sexual aggression perpetrated by authorities- Photo: Marco Ugarte/AP

Sexual torture: 8 in every 10 women arrested are sexually abused in Mexico

22/04/2019
16:40
Alexis Ortiz
Mexico City
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In 2006, municipal, state, and federal officials sexually attacked and tortured at least 11 women who were protesting against the construction of a new airport in the State of Mexico, then governed by Peña Nieto

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Over 100 civil society organizations will meet with the United Nations to report sexual aggression perpetrated by state, federal, and local authorities against women who were facing a legal process.

In the Alternative Report by the Civil Society Organizations in Mexico 2012-2019, human rights activists will offer a diagnosis of torture in the country. They will emphasize how sexual abuse has become a constant torture mechanism used against women who are detained, arrested, and imprisoned.

The document will be presented during the 66th session period of the UN Committee against Torture, based on numbers collected by the non-profits, which have been investigating the issue through studies and defense lawyers.

Experts said the Mexican government has a deficit of official numbers in regards to sexual torture, therefore, the numbers provided by the organizations are the best way to understand the problem.

In regards to sexual torture, the report details that “it includes rape, rape threats, fondling, and electric shocks on the breasts, glutes, or genitals, and forcing the victim to perform sex acts.

It indicates that sexual torture aims to force women to incriminate themselves or incriminate someone else: “It comes along with the reproduction of stereotypes, gender roles, and verbal abuse related to women's sexuality; for example, they call the victims “whores.” They also use it to humiliate or to pressure their male companions.”

The Miguel Agustín Pro Center for Human Rights has studied sexual torture during the past decade and last year it revealed that between 2006 and 2015, there were at least 29 sexual torture cases in Mexico.

It detailed that the victims received electric shocks on their breasts and genitals, they were beaten, cut, and burnt, they were told their children would be raped and also threatened with murder, also, the authorities who carried out the torture provoked three abortions.

Among the 29 cases, the federal police participated in 11; the National Defense (Sedena) took part in six; the Navy in two; and the rest of the sexual torture cases were perpetrated by state and municipal police officers.

On the other hand, Amnesty International reported 72 sexual abuse cases against women when they were detained or while in custody.

The most alarming information was provided by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). It reported that 8 in every 10 women arrested in Mexico between 2009 and 2016 were tortured before being presented before a judge.

It emphasized that 76% of the victims said the torture took place during the arrest, and the other 65% said that it happened while they were in custody.

Melissa Zamora and Gabriela Carreón, lawyers from the Miguel Agustín Pro Center for Human Rights, agree that sexual torture has taken place in Mexico for a long time but it became visible in 2006 when women from San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco were abused by authorities.

In 2006, municipal, state, and federal officials sexually attacked and tortured at least 11 women who were protesting against the construction of a new airport in the State of Mexico, then governed by former President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that the Mexican government was responsible for this and ordered Mexico to compensate the victims, as well as provide them with medical and psychological assistance. Also, the current administration will have to investigate and punish those responsible for this crime.

Melissa Zamora explained that this is a systematic practice in Mexico.

She explained that although sexual torture can be used against both genders, the case of women is different because “besides the physical trauma and pain, sexual torture generates sequels that are hard to overcome due to social stigmas and isolation.”

According to their investigations, sexual torture in Mexico takes place mainly during illegal detentions that last between two and 8 hours, which is enough time for authorities to fabricate crimes through self-incrimination.

In regards to the report, Melissa Zamora said that “it is very important because it will inform the UN about the situation in the country, although the organizations are sure that they don't have a complete panorama of how many sexual torture cases there are (in Mexico).”

Artículo

Women were sexually tortured by the Mexican government

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that the Mexican government was guilty of sexual torture against 11 women from San Salvador Atenco in 2006
Women were sexually tortured by the Mexican government Women were sexually tortured by the Mexican government

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