Latin America & Caribbean

Amnesty International: Torture still rife in Mexico

New police force launched, 22 Aug 2014
Image caption Mexico launched a new police force last month to tackle organised crime

Torture is still rife in Mexico and is routinely used to extract confessions, according to a new report by human rights organisation Amnesty International.

The report says that complaints have risen by a staggering 600% over the past 10 years.

The methods used by Mexican police and armed forces include beatings, electric shocks and sexual assaults, it adds.

The government says it has been taking steps to eradicate torture.

The Amnesty report, entitled "Out of Control," alleges that from 2010 to 2013, Mexico's National Commission for Human Rights received more than 7,000 complaints.

It adds that the judicial system still accepts confessions obtained under extreme duress, despite the fact that torture is forbidden by law,

After an official visit by United Nations special Envoy on Torture, Juan Mendez, earlier this year, the Mexican authorities said that protecting human rights was a government priority.

The organisation is demanding an explanation of why, despite the numerous complaints, there have been only seven convictions in cases of torture in recent years.

Much of the violence in Mexico is related to the activities of the powerful cartels, which smuggle cocaine and other drugs from South America into the United States.

The criminal organisations are also involved in extortion, robberies and kidnappings.

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