Amnesty International Mission to Mexico: September 8-13.
The purpose of the mission was to draw attention both within Mexico and worldwide to the widespread and unchecked use of torture in Mexico by military and police by:
- Releasing “Out of Control,” a new Amnesty International report documenting cases of torture throughout Mexico and the measures needed to Stop Torture;
- Publicizing report findings at events throughout Mexico; and
- Discussing report findings and recommendations with Mexican authorities.
It was also an opportunity to shine a light on the cases of torture survivors whose struggles for justice are ongoing, including prisoner of conscience Angel Colon, who we visited in prison. See video of Angel Colon. And it was a chance to listen to and learn from torture survivors and human rights defenders in Mexico and stand in solidarity with them.
A highlight of the mission was a visit with torture survivor Claudia Medina Tamariz. Amnesty members have been campaigning on Claudia’s to help hold her torturers to account. During the mission we shared messages of solidarity from activists across Canada, and heard directly from Claudia what our support meant to her and what we can continue doing to stand with her as she continues her quest for justice.
TAKE ACTION: Demand Justice for Angel Colon
The Mexico Diaries
Our mission delegates blogged from the field to keep you up to date on what they were seeing, hearing, and what you can do to Stop Torture in Mexico. And the stories from Mexico continue …
A shocking attack on students has ignited Mexico and must spur us to action too
The photos arrived in a steady stream on my Facebook feed, a flood of images too numerous to include here – impossible to ignore. From the wide boulevards of Mexico’s capital to the streets of small towns across the country, women and men, young and old, thousands and thousands of them, marched in protest, united in their outrage about what was done in Guerrero State.
On September 26, 80 students of a rural teacher-training college had come to the town of Iguala to collect money for their studies, a common practice as young people from marginalized Indigenous and farming communities rely on donations to pay for food and supplies. The students were leaving town in three buses when they were blocked by municipal police who opened fire without warning. A number of students were injured in the gunfire, at least one of them fatally. More than 20 were taken away by police but authorities later denied any knowledge of them. When journalists arrived and the remaining students, in shock, began to tell what had happened, an unmarked vehicle approached and gunmen in civilian clothes opened fire again. More students were killed, as well as several people who happened to be in the area. Others disappeared.
Solidarity and justice in the struggle to stop torture in Mexico
by Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada
-Mexico City, 15 September 2014.
We passed over to Claudia Medina Tamariz a collection of messages from Amnesty supporters across Canada
We could not have had a more powerful affirmation of how important solidarity is in our human rights work.
We passed over to Claudia Medina Tamariz a collection of messages from Amnesty supporters across Canada; greeting cards, letters, handwritten notes, and drawings. We showed her some of the colourful messages that will be among the large number of petitions and letters turned over to Mexican officials later this month. And we unfolded a vibrant yellow banner full of handprints and a message of solidarity, from an event held in Toronto in June.
Her smile became brighter and brighter as she took it all in.