Mexico police, armed forces have tortured women: Amnesty

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican police and armed forces often use torture and sexual violence against women to obtain confessions during interrogations and arrests, according to a report by Amnesty International released on Tuesday.

The report, based on interviews with 100 women, said 72 women had been sexually abused and 33 raped while they were detained, reinforcing reports by other organizations and the United Nations that torture is a common practice in Mexico.

“Sexual violence is the preferred tool for security forces in Mexico,” said Madeleine Penman, a researcher for Amnesty International in Mexico. “When it comes to the torture of women, their bodies are a target in the war against narco-trafficking.”

Neither the National Security Commission nor the Defense Ministry could be reached for comment.

Mexico brought the military onto its streets more than a decade ago to fight drug cartels, leading to a proliferation of allegations of human rights violations, including torture and extrajudicial executions.

The report said torture was commonly used by police.

Reporting by Anahi Rama; Writing by Natalie Schachar; Editing by David Gregorio