La Plaza

News from Latin America and the Caribbean

« Previous | La Plaza Home | Next »

Mexican police in 'torture' class?*

Reforma_screen_grab Videos have surfaced in Mexico over the last 24 hours in which the elite police force of the city of León, Guanajuato, is apparently shown taking a class on how to torture suspects.

One of the videos shows members of a tactical unit trying out methods on a fellow officer. They appear to squirt water up his nose and dunk his head in a hole said to be full of excrement and rats. The man gasps for air and moans repeatedly.

In another video, an unidentified English-speaking man who appears to be training the group forces one exhausted agent to roll over into his own vomit, the Associated Press is reporting.

The news, which was on the front page of today's edition of one of Mexico's leading newspapers, Reforma, will do little to improve the bad reputation that Mexico's police have both nationally and internationally.

It may also trouble those opposed to the recently approved Merida Initiative, which promises to put millions of United States dollars toward funding Mexico's police and army in their fight against the country's drug cartels. On the other hand, the film could back up the new aid package by providing evidence of the need for more training and supervision of Mexico's police and army. The cash injection from the Merida Initiative proposes fund "technical advice and training to strengthen the institutions of justice."

But Vincente Guerrero Reynosa, the mayor of León* (an earlier version of this post misidentified him as the governor of the state of Guanajuato), said that the exercises were held so the police could resist torture rather than give it, and that they were preparation for "extreme situations."

You can watch the videos, which are also on Reforma's subscription site, here on YouTube at the following links; they may disturb some viewers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrdL6ggkcUw

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g60tfTHOOpI

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Photo: A screen grab of the leaked videos, in which a policeman is shown being forced to roll in his own vomit.

Comments () | Archives (5)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Great reporting. I hope the $ is somehow cut back, and when they ask again next year some Democrats and Republicans get a backbone and stop it. plan Colombia is still going on, with bipartisan support. Absolutely insane.

Soda up the nose has been a Mexican Police tactic forever. What are they supposed to show the Police? To shove a metal bar up their rectum; as they with DEA man Cammerana (sp)?

Settle down. If they ae showing police how to roll in vomit, it will be a great improvement in the usual conduct of Mexican Police.

This is only one more sad example of the failure of US foreign policy when it comes to Latin America. Why can't we learn that teaching this kind of thing only makes things worse. It used to be taught by our own military staff, but now this ones smells of private military contractors like Blackwater and Dyncorp. If we can't provide ethical training that teaches respect for the rights and dignity of human beings, then we have no place teaching military or police tactics anywhere in the world. No wonder so many people rightfully hate our government. If I were the Mexicans, or any other Latin American leader, I'd decline the opportunity to receive this kind of training. We're only giving Hugo Chavez yet another example of Yankee abuses.

This is only one more sad example of the failure of US foreign policy when it comes to Latin America. Why can't we learn that teaching this kind of thing only makes things worse. It used to be taught by our own military staff, but now this ones smells of private military contractors like Blackwater and Dyncorp. If we can't provide ethical training that teaches respect for the rights and dignity of human beings, then we have no place teaching military or police tactics anywhere in the world. No wonder so many people rightfully hate our government. If I were the Mexicans, or any other Latin American leader, I'd decline the opportunity to receive this kind of training. We're only giving Hugo Chavez yet another example of Yankee abuses.

For the editor: The city of Leon is governed by a Mayor not a "Governor". Saludos. JDB


Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Recent News
Introducing World Now |  September 23, 2011, 8:48 am »
'Twitter terrorists' freed in Mexico, charges dropped |  September 21, 2011, 7:03 pm »
Freedom likely for Mexico's 'Twitter Terrorists' |  September 21, 2011, 11:00 am »

Categories


Archives
 


About the Reporters
Ken Ellingwood
Daniel Hernandez
Efrain Hernandez Jr.
Chris Kraul
Richard Marosi
Tracy Wilkinson