IRCT calls for an end to violence in Oaxaca
November 22, 2006 – Jonathan Dale Rapoport writes: The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) is deeply concerned about the recent reports of Mexican police forces’ violent repression of the civil protest in Oaxaca.
Over the past days thousands of protesters have been demanding that Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz, whom they accuse of abusing power, resigns. Several Mexican officials, including lawmakers and senators, have also urged Mr. Ruiz to resign, which the governor has refused.
The IRCT has received reports of excessive use of force to remove the protesters, arbitrary detention, torture and other human rights violations committed by armed militias operating in Oaxaca in conjunction with the state’s security forces.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Dr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen, has expressed serious concerns after receiving information on human rights violations during the conflict, including the killing and wounding by gunfire of innocent victims, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, illegal searches and breaches of due process.
The IRCT wishes to remind the Mexican government of its duty to ensure the safety and security of the people of Oaxaca in accordance with national law and international human rights law, including the obligation to respect the inalienable and absolute prohibition of torture. Furthermore the IRCT urges the Mexican government to urgently disclose the location of all detainees and to provide for independent inspections at all places of detention in order to minimise the risk of torture and other forms of abuse and ill-treatment.
Finally, the IRCT urges the government of Mexico to instigate a thorough and independent investigation into the recent events in Oaxaca, including the involvement of paramilitary forces in addition to police and other law enforcement authorities, and to bring all perpetrators of human right abuses to justice.
The IRCT is represented in Mexico by two rehabilitation centres: Acción de los Cristianos para la Abolición de la Tortura, Mexico (ACAT) and Colectivo Contra la Tortura y la Impunidad A.C. (CCTI).
By Jonathan Dale Rapoport
Eddy St. Apt. 213
San Francisco, CA