Public consultation on Mexico's new anti-torture law

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Following up on one of the recommendations made by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in 2014 and by the UN Committee against Torture in 2012, the Mexican Government decided to modify its existing legislation prohibiting torture to bring it in line with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Mexico.

Through the General Law to Prevent and Punish Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Ley General para Prevenir y Sancionar la Tortura y Otros Tratos o Penas Crueles, Inhumanos y Degradantes), the Mexican government is seeking to promptly introduce to Congress a new framework for all entities of the Federation, that would respect Mexico’s conventional obligations regarding the comprehensive criminalisation of torture.

In this context, the authorities launched a public consultation and invited civil society organisations, as well as regional and international organisations, academics and other experts to provide comments to the bill. A special webpage was created to explain this public process and to make the different versions of the bill available.

The APT was invited to participate in this process and has prepared a submission sent to the Mexican authorities, based on the first version of the bill. The submission contains comments to several provisions, including on the definition of torture, the different types of liability foreseen, the penalties for crimes of torture, measures such as the creation of preventive mechanisms, etc.

The APT welcomes the overall public consultation and trusts that the Mexican authorities will take due consideration of all comments submitted.