November 9, 2011

Neither Rights Nor Security

Killings, Torture, and Disappearances in Mexico’s “War on Drugs”

Maps: States Where Human Rights Watch Conducted Research
Glossary of Government Institutions
Executive Summary
Widespread Human Rights Violations
Failure to Investigate Human Rights Violations
Failure to Improve Public Security
Key Recommendations
Torture Tactics
The Hidden Prevalence of Torture
Fear of Reprisals and Lack of Confidence in Authorities
Complicity of Civilian Prosecutors and Judicial Investigative Police in Torture
Complicity of Judges
Complicity of Medical Examiners
Negligence and Omissions in Civilian Medical Exams
Negligence and Omissions in Military Medical Exams
Failures of Prosecutors to Investigate Cases of Torture
Failure of Officials from the Federal and State Prosecutors’ Offices to Follow the Istanbul Protocol
Failure of Civilian Prosecutors to Investigate Allegations of Torture
Prosecutors’ Preemptive Dismissal of Torture Allegations as False
Civilian Prosecutors’ Downgrading of Torture
Military Prosecutors’ Downgrading of Torture
Illegal Detentions and Torture
Abuse of the “Flagrancia” Exception
Widespread “Flagrancia” Arrests by the Military and Expanding Investigative Duties
Transitory Enforced Disappearances
International Obligations to Prevent and Punish Torture
Domestic Obligations to Prevent and Punish Torture
Flaws in Federal and State Definitions of Torture
Illustrative Cases
Targeted Recommendations to Address Torture
Enforced Disappearances
The Prevalence of Enforced Disappearances
Levantones and Blaming the Victims
Impunity for Enforced Disappearances
Failure to Promptly Open Investigations
Omissions and Shortcomings in Civilian Investigations
Efforts by Victims’ Families to Push for Greater Accountability
Omissions and Shortcomings in Military Investigations
Downgrading of the Crime of Enforced Disappearance
Mexico’s International Commitments
Inadequate, Conflicting, or Absent Domestic Legislation
The Amparo: An Inadequate Legal Remedy
Illustrative Cases
Targeted Recommendations to Address Disappearances
Extrajudicial Killings
Prohibition of Extrajudicial Killings
Prevalence of Killings and Government Rhetoric
Killing by Excessive Use of Force
Presenting Victims of Extrajudicial Killings as “Collateral Damage” or Criminals
Manipulating Crime Scenes
Framing Extrajudicial Killings as Drug-Related Deaths
Tortured to Death
Military Justice: Flawed Investigations and Lenient Sentences
Pressure on Victims’ Families to Accept Compensation from the Military in Exchange for Abandoning Investigations
Illustrative Cases
Targeted Recommendations to Address Extrajudicial Killings
Appendix 1: Glossary of Key Legal Terms and Institutions - Amparos, Quejas, Recomendaciones, and National and State Human Rights Commissions
Appendix 2: Index of Illustrative Cases