Mexico should abolish preventive detention

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) joined other human rights organizations to urge the House of Representatives to vote for the elimination of preventive detention (arraigo) in Mexico, both at federal and state level; provide reparation for those have been affected by this measure, and develop criminal investigation tools in compliance with the Constitution and international treaties.

The practice of arraigo is contrary to human rights since it is a form of arbitrary detention which violates, among other things, the right to personal freedom and presumption of innocence and acts as an enabler of torture by laying the ground for conditions in which a person might be tortured.

The vote took place on 30 April. The House of Representatives did not vote for the elimination of arraigo, but for its amendment. The modifications approved reduce the period of arraigo and extend the period of retention by the Ministerial Police up to 7 days.

The APT, along with other human rights organizations, expresses its rejection of this reform, reiterating that the practice of arraigo, regardless of its duration, violates human rights. We therefore call on the Senate to modify this reform, to protect, ensure and promote human rights.