Suspects in Mexico missing students case allege torture

Written by Nancy Caouette on . Posted in News America

10 detainees say investigators used punches, electric shocks during probe, AP says.

MEXICO CITY (AA) – The government here faces new allegations of the use of torture in its investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in Iguala.  

Ten of 80 suspects arrested in the case claimed they were abused by investigators, according to court documents obtained by the Associated Press. 

Detainees told a judge last July that government representatives used “punches, electric shocks and partial asphyxiation with plastic bags” and threatened to kill family members as a way to influence testimonies, the news organization said Tuesday. 

Suspects were given “planted evidence” or “prefabricated stories” to back up Mexico’s official version, the documents reveal.

“They were giving me electric shocks in the testicles and all over my body,” Patricio Reyes Landa, an alleged member of the Guerreros Unidos, or United Warriors drug cartel told the court.

Reyes Landa was detained one month after the students disappeared. "All this time, it was about two-and-a-half hours, I was blindfolded and they were hitting me’’, he said, according to the documents obtained by the AP.

"A person came up and took off my blindfold and showed me a photo of my family — my two daughters, my wife and my brother," Reyes Landa said. "He said if I didn't do everything they told me to, they were going to rape my daughters ... I told them I was going to do everything they asked."

Included among the documents were medical records that help substantiate the torture allegations, the AP said. 

According to the government, the male teaching students from the Ayotzinapa College were attacked and kidnap by local police officers in Iguala, a city of the southwestern state of Guerrero, on Sept. 26, 2014. 

They were then killed by Guerrero Unidos and their bodies burned in a dump in Cocula, a town located 21 kilometers (13 miles) from Iguala. 

Reyes Landa was among the first suspects to confess to the killings. 

The confessions of the 10 suspects, along with a bone fragment of Alexander Mora -- the only student who has been formally identified through DNA tests -- are the only evidence officials have to support their version of events. 

In late April, a team of international experts who had been investigating the case denounced the use of torture in the government’s probe.




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