MEXICO: Disability Rights International testifies on torture in Mexico

[26 March 2012] - On Friday, Disability Rights International (DRI) and a coalition of partners from Mexico challenged the Mexican government at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Eric Rosenthal, Executive Director of DRI, presented video evidence of torture in Mexico’s psychiatric institutions, orphanages and other social care facilities. Watch and share DRI’s video testimony here.

DRI called on the IACHR to visit Mexico to witness the atrocious human rights violations taking place in Mexican institutions. “The United Nations has stated that the prolonged use of restraints constitutes nothing less than torture. We found widespread torture in Mexico’s institutions,” said Eric Rosenthal.

DRI’s video testimony shows people tied to beds and wheelchairs – in some cases, for 10 years. Additionally, the video documents the inhumane and unhygienic conditions to which Mexico’s most vulnerable citizens are subjected. Thousands of children and adults are left to languish in near total inactivity, some naked and without access to the most basic hygiene. Without any oversight, children have literally disappeared from Mexican institutions and in some cases, girls detained in institutions were trafficked for sex. DRI also found young adults are held in institutions entirely off the public record, working without compensation – essentially as slave labour. 

We have travelled to Washington, DC to send a loud message to the Mexican government: do not lock up people because they have a disability,” said Raul Montoya, Executive Director of the Colectivo Chuhcan, a Mexican organisation of people with psychiatric disabilities.

DRI filed the petition before the IACHR – a branch of the Organization of American States (OAS), along with Mexican partners: the Colectivo Chuhcan, the Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH), Documenta, and the Instituto Mexicano de Derechos Humanos y Democracia (IMDHD). The government of Mexico also testified.

The video of the full hearing before the Inter-American Commission is available here

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