Here is Part Two of the research carried out by the Human Rights Department of the UADY on the alleged torture cases in recent years in the State Police Department (SSP), from the newspaper La Jornada Maya…
To read the Part One click here.
The complaints were filed by other agencies of the state Attorney General’s Office (FGE) on 12 occasions, the federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) eight times, and the human rights commissions in just three. In two-thirds of the cases (22) the cases were only opened but not investigated. In the remaining 11 the only thing that happened was that a letter was sent to the SSP, as the responsible authority, but the investigation did not continue, nor were responsibilities established. The investigations were filed away.
According to La Jornada Maya, the researchers found the victims of the aforementioned torture were all people of low resources, with education between elementary and high school, coming from the east and south of Mérida, between 25 and 30 years old. Of the 94 cases found, 87 were men and seven women, two of them with their partners. The majority of the arrests were for theft and possession of narcotics.
Maria de los Angeles Cruz Rossel, coordinator of the Human Rights Center of the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY), said that both the Prosecutor’s Office and the SSP are aware of the Istanbul Protocol, the international manual for effective investigation and documentation of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, but fail to apply it. There are other authorities who do not know how to use it, she added.
Although in Yucatan there is a law to prevent and punish torture in the state, it does not establish how cases of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment should be investigated. In addition, it is considered a serious crime, typified in a special criminal law, and not in the Criminal Code of the entity, she noted.
Codhey and other human rights organizations avoid using the word “torture” in their recommendations, which is “the most serious”. The cases are characterized as violating personal freedom, security, detention and incommunicado detention, she said.
The most terrible thing is that society doesn’t care about the cases of torture, there is a discourse that if the criminals are caught the society does not care if they are beaten to obtain the information. Then there is a lack of awareness and a counterbalance to avoid human righppats violations, she said.