E-NEWS - 2009

Rape in Mexican Detention: Finally Out of the Shadows

August 5, 2009 -

Recent reports of sexual abuse in detention, published by the Mexico City Human Rights Commission (CDHDF), have finally brought the problem of rape in Mexican prisons out of the shadows. JDI welcomes the effort on the part of the CDHDF to address openly a human rights issue that has been surrounded by government denial for decades. JDI works closely with the CDHDF, as part of its Mexico Program.

In its most recent publication, released on August 3, 2009, the CDHDF details findings and recommendations related to the assault of an inmate in one of Mexico City's largest and most overcrowded prisons, the Reclusorio Preventivo Varonil Oriente. In that case, the prisoner was assaulted by several other inmates after guards ignored his requests for protection. According to the CDHDF, prison officials did not allow the inmate to report the rape for several weeks, and did little to protect him from retaliation. In May 2009, the CDHDF released another report, highlighting the sexual abuse of an inmate at the Centro de Readaptacion Social Varonil Santa Martha Acatitla.

The CDHDF makes several key recommendations in these reports, urging improvements to inmate classification processes, to the provision of medical and mental healthcare, and to staff training. The Commission also recommends the development of new evidence collection processes and an overhaul of investigative practices in sexual assault cases.

To learn more about JDI's work in Mexico, and other international programs, please click here.

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