New dialogue on torture prevention in Mexican State

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nearly four years after the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT)’s official visit to Mexico, the APT and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre organized a workshop on 2-3 May in San Cristóbal de las Casas to promote a dialogue on torture prevention in the Southern State of Chiapas.

Following a similar workshop held in the State of Oaxaca in January, the objective of this meeting, which gathered local state authorities and human rights organizations, was to publicize SPT recommendations, identify measures taken to comply with its recommendations and make proposals as to how effectively implement them. The debate was facilitated by APT and Costa Rican SPT member Víctor Rodríguez Rescia and involved an analysis of all recommendations.

Among the positive developments highlighted during the workshop was the suppression, in Chiapas’ penal code, of the detention under arraigo (detention without charge for up to 80 days), a practice that contributed to the commission of torture of persons deprived of their liberty. However, concerns were expressed at the continuing practice of torture in regular places of detention and at the existence of secret places of detention. The need to reform criminal policies so as to allow alternatives to detention, to limit the use of preventive detention, and to adequately fund the public defence system, were identified as key measures to prevent torture and other ill-treatment and facilitate the investigation of such cases when they occur.

Local partner: Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas