Human Rights and Civil Society · Transparency & accountability

Seven Raped in Attack on Youth Camp

07/20/12 – A brutal attack on a group comprised largely of teenagers camping outside Mexico City has provoked significant public outcry and prompted the state police to act quickly to investigate. About 90 people were camping in the Colibri ecological park–located near the town of Ixtapaluca, a suburb of Mexico City located in the state of Mexico (Estado de México, Edmox)–on July 12 when an 11-person gang stormed into the site, firing shots into the air.  The attackers were armed with a variety of weapons and proceeded to assault the group, who were participating in an overnight Christian retreat. The attack resulted in seven females raped–at least three of whom were minors–, another five people beaten, and cash and goods, including two cars, stolen. Although the cars were eventually recovered by police, the journal Impacto estimated the loss of cash and goods originally taken at approximately $10,000 (USD). The group had apparently arranged for police patrols in the area during their stay, but it appears that there was not a police presence in the park during the time of the attack because the authorities did not learn of the events until one of the adult organizers was able to reach a local police station. Calls for help were hampered by the park’s hilly geographical layout, which also has poor cell phone coverage.

Yesterday, the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico State (Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de México, PGJEM) announced the arrest of 17 people in conjunction with the attack. The operation was undertaken jointly between the Secretary of Citizen Safety (Secretaría de Seguridad Ciudadana, SSC) and the state police. Of the detained, there are two women and 15 men, including three policemen and one former member of the military. El Occidental reports that the perpetrators belonged to a local gang called “Los Cadenos” and that items belonging to the campers and reported missing were found in the homes of those arrested. The Attorney General of the state of Mexico, Alfredo Castillo Cervantes, went on to state that six people had already confessed to the crime and that 11 of the people arrested had been identified by eyewitnesses. This case of swift justice is notable given that Amnesty International recently reported that the state of Mexico has one of the worst human rights records within the country, and that on average police are able to solve one out of 21 rapes in the region.

The area is within the territory of a variety of drug cartels but in general it is unaffiliated criminal gangs who prey on campers. There have been scattered attacks on campers in the park by small scale criminal groups in the recent months.



“Gunmen attack church camp-out in Mexico, rape 7.” Associated Press. July 14, 2012. 

“Mexican church camp members raped and beaten by armed gang.” The Guardian. July 15, 2012.

Silverstein, Amy. “Mexico: Armed gang attacks a youth camp, rapes seven women.” Global Post. July 16, 2012.

Rojas Madrid, Tomás. “Capturan a banda que atacó a campamento cristiano.” Impacto. July 18, 2012.

De los Ángeles Velasco, María. “PGJEM informará en 48 horas sobre caso de violación en Chalco.” Excélsior. July 16, 2012.

Notimex. “Presentan a implicados en asalto a campamento en Chalco.” Noticieros Televisa. July 18, 2012.

“Detienen a 17 por violación a jóvenes cristianas en Chalco.”  El Occidental. July 19, 2012. 

1 thought on “Seven Raped in Attack on Youth Camp”

  1. this is really bad news that such shameful act has been done in youth camp. I have gone through this story and really shocked that in such a disciplined and regulated camp environment, such shameful activity has been done. Generally camps for teens are well maintained and guarantee for full security of their campers. The statistics that your have above discussed shows that now such camps are not so safe for them.

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