PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 41/066/2008
17 December 2008
UA 344/08 – Torture / Fear for safety
MEXICO – Jorge Martínez Guzmán (m), Pacho Viejo prison, Veracruz State
Jorge Martínez Guzmán, a detainee in the Pacho Viejo prison (Centro de Readaptacíon Social de Pacho Viejo), Veracruz State, was tortured by a group of unidentified men during the night of 25 November.
Jorge Martínez Guzmán was blindfolded, tied up and handcuffed by what he estimates to be a group of ten men. He was hit repeatedly by several people, dragged along the floor using the handcuffs around his wrists and subjected to simulated asphyxiation by means of a plastic bag and a wet towel placed over his head. Despite the fact that this was a prolonged attack, at no point did prison officials intervene to stop it and prevent further harm to Jorge Martínez.
On 27 November, Jorge Martínez Guzmán’s mother, Raquel Guzmán Garay arrived at Pacho Viejo prison to visit her son. Upon her arrival she was told that she could not see her son but was not provided with an explanation why. After repeatedly being denied information on why she was not allowed to see her son by prison authorities, one of the guards on duty told her that Jorge Martínez had been hospitalised but refused to provide her with further information. Raquel Guzmán Garay eventually found him in the “Doctor Luis F. Nachón” hospital in Xalapa, Veracruz State later that day.
Jorge Martínez Guzmán is currently in intensive care. His body is covered in injuries from the beatings and his hands and arms are particularly badly injured. The medical report on Jorge Martínez Guzmán reveals that he is suffering from kidney failure as a result of the beatings. On 28 November, Jorge Martínez Guzmán had surgery on both of his hands.
Raquel Guzmán Garay filed a complaint with the Veracruz State Attorney General’s Office on 4 December. However as of yet, no police or prosecutors has visited Jorge Martínez Guzmán to begin the investigation.
This is not the first time Jorge Martínez Guzmán has been attacked in Pacho Viejo prison. On a previous visit to the prison in October, Raquel Guzmán Garay noted that her son had severe injuries on his arms and legs. Jorge Martínez told his mother that he has been beaten by other inmates but made her promise not to file a complaint as he feared reprisals if she did.
Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Spanish or your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Jorge Martínez Guzmán;
- calling on the authorities to ensure that Jorge Martínez Guzmán is protected from torture or other ill-treatment or any other reprisals;
- urging the authorities to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the attack on Jorge Martínez Guzmán and for those responsible to be brought to justice, including any prison officials involved;
- calling on the authorities to put in place adequate protection measures for all detainees in Pacho Viejo prison to ensure their physical safety and that further attacks do not occur.
Minister of Interior
Lic. Fernando Gómez Mont
Secretaría de Gobernación
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juárez
México D.F., C.P.06600
Fax: +52 55 5093 3414
Salutation: Señor Secretario/Dear Minister
Governor of Veracruz
Lic. Fidel Herrera Beltrán
Av. Enriquez sin Número
Veracruz, C.P. 91000
Fax: +52 228 841 8818
Salutation: Dear Governor/Señor Gobernador
Attorney General of Veracruz State
Lic. Salvador Mikel Rivera
Boulevard Culturas Veracruzanas s/n
Col. Reserva Territorial
Veracruz, C.P. 91000
Tel: +52 228 841 6170
Fax: +52228 841 61 84. (Someone will pick up, you then need to say “me da tono de fax, por favor”.)
Salutation: Dear Attorney/ Señor Procurador
Liga Mexicana por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos A.C.
1era Cda Calle Tehuiztita, 44
Col. Los Reyes
CP 04330 México Distrito Federal
Fax: +52 55 5846 1045
Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan Casamitjana
Embassy of Mexico
1911 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20006
Fax: 1 202 728 1698
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.
Check with the AIUSA Urgent Action office if sending appeals after 28 January 2009.
Urgent Action Network Office
600 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003