Mexican Females Brutalized by Law enforcement Hope Working day of Reckoning Is Around


Her arms clasped, Ms. Jiménez told a courtroom final thirty day period that the law enforcement beatings had broken her fingers and that the agony had compelled her to give up artwork college. She even now struggles to sleep.

Bárbara Italia Méndez testified that officers had dragged her to the back again of a bus, before “all hell started.”

The assailants ripped off her underwear, grabbed her breasts and conquer her with nightsticks. They penetrated her with fingers and called out to the officers at the entrance of the bus to be part of in, she reported.

Thrown into jail, Ms. Méndez, now 38, was denied gynecological focus even following she noted the sexual assault. When a physician arrived to sew a bleeding head wound, she reported, he did not use anesthesia.

As she cried out in agony, the physician laughed and replied, “Suck it up.”

Five of the 11 females testified at the courtroom hearing in San José, Costa Rica, where by the courtroom is based. The Mexican federal government was thanks to send its final arguments, which are not public, by Sunday, and the courtroom is anticipated to challenge a ruling next yr.

The Females of Atenco

These are the 11 plaintiffs — and their words.

In producing their situation from Mr. Peña Nieto, the women’s lawyers cited published testimony they reported he had given to the Supreme Court docket in the course of an investigation in 2009. Not only did he order the law enforcement crackdown, they reported, he also “learned about law enforcement abuse” at the time.

“When he was requested about what steps he had taken the second he learned about the problem, he does not mention having taken any concrete measure to make the unfolding abuses cease,” one particular of the lawyers reported.

The lawyers did not provide specifics about what data Mr. Peña Nieto learned, and it is unattainable to independently confirm the statements for the reason that the Supreme Court docket testimony is not publicly offered.

The Mexican federal government, in a published statement Monday, turned down the claim that he knew of the abuses. In the initial section of the crackdown on the protesters, the statement reported, there was “no concrete evidence of abuses or violations of human rights.” It reported Mr. Peña Nieto had purchased an investigation into what took place the second he learned about it.

The women’s lawyers reported, “The Supreme Court docket concluded that the violence in Atenco was inspired and permitted by the chain of command.” But in its final resolution, the Mexican courtroom chose not to hold Mr. Peña Nieto and other high-ranking officials accountable for the abuses.

If the women’s struggle lays bare how schedule law enforcement torture has turn out to be in Mexico, it also reveals the impunity torturers often get pleasure from when victims try out to hold them and their supervisors to account.

Speaking for the Mexican federal government at the hearing, Miguel Ruiz Cabañas, the undersecretary for foreign relations, admitted that the abuse had taken area. But he argued that females had no “objective data” to display that the beatings and torture had been carried out underneath a immediate order or that they had been a “state technique.”

In an admission that the abuse had happened, the federal federal government available to fork out reparations to the females in 2013. The females refused the money and scholarships and pressed for a total investigation.

Mr. Ruiz Cabañas turned down the women’s argument that the crimes had absent unpunished, pointing to what he called an “exhaustive investigation” by the Supreme Court docket. But he admitted that none of the 52 people at first arrested in the women’s situation — generally law enforcement and jail officials — had been convicted.

“The victims have requested for each individual one particular of those people who are allegedly accountable to be investigated,” Mr. Ruiz Cabañas told reporters. “The investigation, though it is not completed, is on its way and is quite significantly sophisticated.”

The testimony by Mr. Ruiz Cabañas seemed not to influence the judges, who requested how, with no convictions, the federal government can argue that there is no impunity.


Claudia Hernández, middle-left, and Suhelen Gabriela Cuevas Jaramillo at a hearing final thirty day period. They are between 11 Mexican females seeking justice at the Inter-American Court docket of Human Legal rights.

Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

In its final ruling, the Inter-American Court docket could order the Mexican federal government to have out a new investigation, underneath suggestions to analyze the chain of command previously mentioned the law enforcement, reported Santiago Aguirre, deputy director of the Agustin Professional Juárez Heart for Human Legal rights in Mexico City, which signifies the females. This kind of a ruling could elevate new issues for Mr. Peña Nieto.

The situation goes back again to a violent law enforcement procedure to dislodge flower suppliers who have been protesting in the central sq. of San Salvador Atenco.

Two people have been killed and 200 detained in the two-day clash. Of those people, 40 have been females who have been pushed onto buses and pushed to jails hrs away.

Not able to obtain justice in Mexico, 11 took their situation to the Inter-American Fee of Human Legal rights in Washington, which agreed that the Mexican authorities had not investigated the abuse correctly. The fee demanded a extra extensive inquiry and sent the situation to the courtroom.

For the females — some activists and students, other folks housewives or suppliers who took place to be in the sq. — the authorized fight has been psychologically exhausting.

The specifics of the assaults, which the females described in interviews with The New York Occasions final yr, outline a photograph of systemic abuse. They have been raped, overwhelmed and penetrated with metallic objects. A single was compelled to accomplish oral sex on several officers. Many others have been compelled to convey to jokes as they have been remaining assaulted.

Five of the females have been charged with small offenses and put in as long as two a long time in jail before their scenarios have been dismissed.

As the females await the court’s ruling, their wrestle to deal with the trauma lingers.

“It’s been a quite difficult highway, because I wasn’t equipped to get my daily life back again following it took place,” reported Claudia Hernández, now 34, weeping, as she testified final thirty day period.

She was a political science university student at Mexico’s national university at the time, creating a thesis on the Atenco social motion.

“I felt filthy, humiliated, and worthless,” she reported.

Ms. Hernández reported she even now suffered from trauma so wonderful that she could not bear to have small children. Her partner retains inquiring her to begin a loved ones, but she fears that her small children could one particular day deal with the identical sort of abuse, she reported.

“I won’t acquire that risk.”

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