Justice in Mexico

New Initiative is Presented to Stop Torture in Prisons

04/07/11 – The government of the Federal District of Mexico (GDF) and the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of the Legislative Assembly (ALDF) presented an initiative earlier this month to reform the Penal Code. According to the newspaper, El Sol de Mexico, the reforms are to “provide harsher punishments for authorities who have been convicted of using inhumane treatment, like torture, on prisoners in Mexico City’s jails.” David Razú, the president of the local HRC; Juan José García Ochoa, the assistant secretary of GDF; Rocío Culebro of the Mexican Institute for Human Rights and Democracy; and Sebastián Ramírez of ELIGE were all present at the conference.  Together they revealed that since 2005, there have been almost 500 reported cases of inmates being tortured by authorities in prisons, and only 194 of those cases are currently being investigated. Most of these cases lack the proper and necessary evidence to prove that inmates had been tortured.  So far no one has been found guilty of these charges. The majority of the cases involve instances of abuse and injuries, said Juan José García Ochoa, the assistant secretary of GDF. The investigations that are being pursued are against officials like policemen, the Secretariat of Public Safety (Secretaría de Seguridad Pública) and the Attorney General’s office (Ministerio Público).

The principles found in the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment have served as a foundation for this new effort.  Civil society organizations, academic institutions, the GDF, the Human Rights Commission of ALDF, and the Superior Court of the Federal District all contributed to the writing of the initiative.


Bolaños, Claudia. “Piden que se amplíe definición de tortura.” El Universal. 06 April, 2011.

Cruz, Abigail. “Presentan iniciativa para frenar la tortura en cárceles del DF.” El Sol de México. 06 April, 2011.

Mora, Karla. “Legislan para castigar la tortura en el DF.” El Universal. 05 April, 2011.

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