PUBLIC AI Index: AMR 41/013 /2009
9 March 2009
UA 64/09 Torture/ill-treatment/Fear for safety/Death threats
MEXICO Jesús Arturo Torres Parra (m), aged 18
Jesús Arturo Torres Parra was unlawfully detained, then beaten and threatened with death by federal police
officers in Chihuahua City, Chihuahua state on 3 March. He was released a few hours later, though he fears
that he and his family are at risk of further attacks.
According to Jesús Arturo Torres, on the evening of 3 March, he was at home with his family, when a group of
uniformed Federal Preventive Police officers (Policía Federal Preventiva, PFP), smashed the front door and
broke in. Without any explanation or warrant, they handcuffed him and bundled him into a pick up truck.
Eyewitnesses noted that the vehicle had PFP markings and recorded the number plates which they later
passed on to federal authorities. The PFP has the mandate and powers to combat organised crime nationwide.
Jesús Arturo Torres was then beaten and threatened for three hours inside the vehicle. During that time, he
was questioned about individuals of whom he had no knowledge and has reported that one of the officers told
him that “if you don’t tell us what we want to know, we will take you to Chapo Guzmán [a notorious drug
trafficker and killer] so he’ll make you talk, or we will just kill you and dump you in the desert” (si no dices
nada de lo que te preguntamos, te vamos a llevar con el Chapo Guzmán para que te haga hablar, o te
matamos y te echamos al desierto). He was then released in a different part of Chihuahua City and threatened
with death if he reported the incident.
The following day Jesús Arturo Torres filed a complaint with the Federal Attorney General’s Office
(Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) in Chihuahua City and the Chihuahua State Human Rights
Since 2007 organized crime related violence has spiralled in Mexico. In 2008, media reported that more
than 5000 people were killed in violent incidents attributed to organized crime, at least 1500 of them in
Chihuahua State alone. President Calderón’s administration has attempted to deal with the spiralling violent
crime by deploying thousands of federal police and some 45000 military personnel in the worst affected
areas. However this has not resulted in a reduction in crime - (in Chihuahua the governor requested federal
intervention). Reports of unlawful killings, torture, arbitrary detentions and illegal house searches by
members of the military and police personnel have increased, many of which fail to be adequately
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Spanish or your own
- urging the authorities to ensure that Jesús Arturo Torres Parra and his family are given appropriate protection,
in accordance with their wishes, following the his unlawful detention and ill-treatment on 3 March by Federal
- calling on the authorities to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into his apparent unlawful
detention and ill-treatment and hold those responsible to account;