Mexico: NGOs demand justice for 19-year old tortured in custody

Article by Fair Trials

Fair Trials, IJPP, REDD and other civil society organisations are demanding justice for 19 year-old Liliana, who has been accused of killing her daughter Inés in Mexico.

While in detention, Liliana has been a victim of physical and psychological torture. She has been denied her presumption of innocence, her right to a due process, access to justice and a life free of violence. From the very beginning, the investigation has lacked a specific gender perspective, and the violence that Inés and Liliana were subjected to at the hands of Liliana’s former partner Sergio has been ignored. Sergio has a recorded history of violence, including criminal convictions for domestic violence against him in the courts of the United States.

With the intermediate hearing due to start in the next couple of days, the civil society organisations are calling for justice for both Liliana and Inés.

Liliana s case

On July 12, 2020, Inés, 1 year 11 months old, was a victim of femicide.

The Coahuila Attorney General’s Office determined that the death was the result of various injuries and that there were signs of violence and filed an accusation of femicide, indicating that 19-year-old Liliana, Ines’s mother, and Sergio, her partner, were likely to be responsible.

During her detention, Liliana was held incommunicado, interrogated without the presence of her lawyer, harassed, subjected to multiple methods of torture, including what might have amounted to sexual torture, and pressured to give a self-incriminating and acquitting statement for Sergio.

Through the intervention of her relatives, she was released. However, after this, reports from her investigation folder were leaked to the media. This has led to a trial by media, with Liliana, exposed and publicly condemned without her trial having even begun.

Liliana’s defence turned to a group of international and independent forensic experts who have carried out an exhumation process, field investigation, interviews, and analysis of the physical evidence, following the femicide protocol model of the United Nations (UN). These proceedings that have yielded evidence that could prove Liliana’s innocence.

Justice for Liliana and Inés

Fair Trials, IJPP, REDD and other civil society organizations are demanding justice for Liliana and Inés. We are calling for:

  • Their rights to be respected.
  • Due process to respected.
  • Liliana to be recognized as a victim of torture.
  • The case to be taken with a specific gender perspective.
  • The attorney s office of the case to be withdrawn and investigated.
  • The crime of torture to be investigated.
  • The leak to the media of the contents of the investigation folder to be investigated.
  • All the state agents involved to be sanctioned.

The Mexican state must guarantee the integrity of Liliana, and that of her family, and give guarantees of non-repetition as a safeguard. Local, state and federal governments are obliged to guarantee a life free of violence for all women.

About REDD

The Instituto de Justicia Procesal Penal and Fair Trials, funded by the Swedish Postcode Lottery, created the Red de Defensores/as Democraticos/as (REDD) to promote the right to a fair trial and to uphold the prohibition of torture. This network is composed of defence lawyers and criminal justice and human rights experts. REDD is committed to the fight against torture in Mexico and to promote the right to a fair trial and to develop effective litigation tools for the exclusion of evidence obtained under torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments.

Watch Fair Trials’ film on torture by the police and prison officers.