MEXICO CITY – A Mexican court has ordered four more federal security force members to stand trial for allegedly torturing a female detainee, prosecutors said.
The Attorney General’s Office said in a statement Wednesday that the court in the southern state of Guerrero handed down the ruling after finding sufficient evidence of the involvement of the suspects – two Federal Police officers and two army soldiers, all of them men – in the torture of Elvira Santibañez Margarito in the town of Ajuchitlan del Progreso.
In a video of the Feb. 4, 2015, incident that was uploaded to social media earlier this month, the federal forces are seen putting a plastic bag over Santibañez’s head and pointing a rifle at her skull.
A total of five defendants have now been ordered to stand trial in the case, including a female Federal Police officer who was the first to be ordered held pending trial.
On April 16, Mexican Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos issued an apology for the security forces’ “unacceptable” actions.
Amnesty International has described torture within the context of Mexico’s war on violent drug gangs as “out of control,” saying the number of complaints filed for torture and other ill treatment rose by 600 percent between 2003 and 2013.
Impunity, however, also is rife, the London-based human rights watchdog says.
“Authorities look the other way – and hope the international community will do so too. And so, justice remains out of reach for most of those brave enough to report their torture,” AI says on its Web site.