Every two days, on average, a complaint of torture is received at the Yucatan Attorney General’s Office, according to the 315 cases that were documented last year and so far this year.
However, none of these investigation files on serious human rights violations have been prosecuted, that is, they do not even take turns in legal consequence against the person who committed the torture.
In the state that has a reputation for insurance, where “nothing happens”, in 2020 212 complaints were settled and so far in 2021 there are 103, but none have come before a control judge.
It is estimated that many cases are not known due to possible threats to the victims or fear of reprisals from the executioners.
The director in Mexico of the human rights organization “Washington Office for Latin American Affairs” (WOLA), Stephanie Brewer, released on Monday the response of the State Prosecutor’s Office regarding complaints of torture in the last two years and the follow-up it has given them, which is null.
Of 315 cases reported since 2020, none have been prosecuted, that is, they are not presented before a control judge, so that no summons or arrest warrant is issued and, therefore, the judicial process does not begin.
Complaints of torture, among other crimes of greater impact, should be investigated ex officio and it is the obligation of the State Prosecutor’s Office to initiate investigations once the complaint has been settled before the Public Ministry.
Only when there is not enough evidence to determine that the crime occurred (through the intervention of a medical examiner) or the complainant dies or withdraws from his complaint, would they be a reason for the investigation report not to reach a judge to avoid a process judicial.
Of those 315 cases reported in Yucatán, it is unknown why none reached the judicial authorities. Now, after the death of the young José Eduardo Ravelo Echevarría, international attention is on Yucatán and on the actions of its authorities in charge of serving and protecting.
As stated in recent days by Judge Rómulo Antonio Bonilla Castañeda, who is handling the case of the young man from Veracruz who was raped and tortured, José Eduardo described in his complaint and pointed out to a police corporation that it would not be the municipality of Mérida. He even managed to give names or surnames, as well as a physical description of his sex offenders and that they were wearing official uniforms.
Due to the “secrecy of the investigation” it has not yet been revealed which corporation was indicated by Ravelo Echevarría, but this complaint, like the 315 previous ones, had not been presented before a control judge.
When the arrest warrant was requested against four municipal uniforms, Rómulo Bonilla granted it, unaware that the Yucatán Prosecutor’s Office was hiding evidence data.
But when the trial involving a process was carried out, the prosecutors were forced to deliver the complaint that the young José Eduardo made while he was alive, so the judge immediately released the accused.
Two press conferences were held simultaneously: one with the lawyer David Dorantes, who defends the accused policemen, and another with the Yucatán prosecutor, Juan Manuel León León. We report the first with live video ( https://fb.watch/7r3x9EGhuV/ ). The second time was not invited, nor notified PRESIDIO.
The head of the Prosecutor’s Office spoke of the case of José Eduardo and his explanation of the facts focused on the videos that circulate on social networks and that, in the opinion of the lawyer Dorantes Cabrera, are edited and threaten the integrity of the now deceased.
The Prosecutor’s Office accepted that its line of investigation begins with the arrest by the Municipal Police of Mérida and that it is based on the chronology of the recordings that circulate on social networks.
However, Judge Bonilla Castañeda revealed that there is a lot of evidence, such as the statements that José Eduardo made in the Public Ministry, which should be taken into account, more than the videos.
By the way, only five people from the media were allowed to speak at the press conference of the Prosecutor’s Office. But when the reporters began to ask about what happened before José Eduardo was arrested and also about the accusations against a different police corporation, the prosecutors got up from their seats and ended the informative act, which left more doubts than answers.