Victims of sexual torture in Atenco v. Mexico: is it fair to pay around 22 years of presidential salary if the through-the-mass-media-transmitted sexual violence and torture perpetrated against police officers by the assembled “demonstrators” and/or “protesters” was ignored?

 In gender equality, human rights, international conflicts, state

We see it in the markets. We see it in the stores. We see it in the streets. We see it in the public transport. We see it in the social media. We saw it the free will of the people, expressed through their votes. There is no doubt: the people are displeased. And there is no doubt either: many public actors and media persons have profited from that.

This may sound not polite for some, and, being it for the benefit of the Mexican nation, whilst some people’s attitudes there are many reasons not to say it, but for humanity and a clear willingness for not to persist losing valuable time and energy, especially in such a competitive world;  for that reasons, it was written by the master: sincerity tends not to please, and pleasing words tend not to be sincere. And this has its applied implications in President Harry S. Truman’s saying, in regards that a president cannot always be popular.

Sincerity, in sum, is not to be expected from hypocrites; the right thing to do tends to be the difficult thing to do; is easier to do what is popular and acceptable by the society and leave all responsibility in the shoulders of, in this case, the Mexican president, who has proven so far to be a remarkable person, but if he commits mistakes, mistakes will not forgive him just because of that, and  building just in the popularity amongst the people, is, no doubt, like building on the mud.   

There is no way to stop the feelings of the people, but as President Andres Manuel López Obrador has said many times: you cannot combat the fire with more fire. And if there happens to be a ballot of the sort, as is reasonable to occur, the people will manifest that displease against the state, so if after it, there is a voracious persecution, that will just generate more fire. And it will be that way, because even the persons are displeased, that type of persecution is not what they truly want. What the people want is that if there is a corrupt, from a president, to an official, or a senator, or representative, or judge, etcetera; if there is any, for purposes of article 108 of the Constitution of Mexico, public servant that has goods or money that belong to the nation in their possession, to give it back to the nation. Nobody cares if the state has to use resources for their imprisonment; nobody cares if that will give them, in such a case, chance to pretend to be victims; what the people truly want is for the nation’s goods and money to be back where they belong. And that means that this is not a personal issue, and it is neither for the people, especially since they will get none from, in such a case, putting them in prison; this is an objective issue: if is the case they have goods or money of the nation, then they have to give them back to the nation and work for their own goods and money.

To put it in business terms, the state, as an enterprise, needs to invest, if is the case, in getting back that goods and money, no to spend in punishing wrongdoings by public servants; and in following of that, many states, we believe, will gladly stand with the Mexican nation.   

Otherwise, if there is a different kind of persecution or a personal persecution, then they will perhaps victimize themselves and sooner or later, even if through the use of those goods and money as their means, it will backfire. The reasonable goal for the state shall be, in such a case, to give those goods and money back to the nation. As simple as that.

In other case, being it personal, it will start a personal war, and nobody wants a magnicide, or a heart attack, or more violence: forgiveness in their material freedom, zero tolerance in regard to the goods and money of the nation, that is the middle ground that will make all happy, and that is what the people really want.

We write these letters because we have compassion. And in the big picture, are wrote for the region, and for the West, not necessarily for a particular country. And we do not want things to become personal and face a similar scenario of what perhaps happened and is happening in the Federative Republic of Brazil, where things were done great, where there were inclusive rights in the social aspects, but capitalism and competitiveness and judicial certainty in the economic aspects. That is the successful formula: it was proved that way. The numbers of President Luiz Inácio da Silva talk for Luiz Inácio da Silva. And even he was a nationalist and criticized the United Mexican States, the numbers still talk for Luiz Inácio da Silva. Because again, this is not something personal, is objective and is for the benefit of North America and the West.

Of course, we all want Mexico to lead, but amongst the most developed countries. And that will not necessarily happen in one day, and in order to happen, there needs to be a multilingual and very well-read society, and, specially, a multilingual, fair, competitive, productive and objective judicial system, what will be the backbone of all this. They, the judicature members, need to be paid well, perhaps not, as is the case, more than other more developed countries, but not based their salary either, in the executive, since they are not subordinated to that power, and they need to be more productive, not just in the philosophical and academic aspects of the law, as indeed are, but in the material aspects of it, where other counties double them in productivity: they need to be more efficient, and their efficiency, as is desirable, may impact their remunerations.

These philosophical and academic developments, notwithstanding the material deficit, can be explained by the interior secretariat titular, who witnessed and propitiated the impulse the gender equivalence, the women rights and the diversity rights have had in the Mexican justice, and, subsequently, in the Mexican state.

From gender equivalence, the autonomy of the persons is generated, then, ideologically, because in reality they develop in parallel, will come the blossom of a fair, autonomous, respectful and inclusive diversity, what will end up defeating the ignorance and generating the optimal conditions for the development of the people in such a competitive world; ignorance that, maybe because of the same absence of autonomy, also impacts many women.

You can check our idea of gender equivalence here:

You can check our fierce defence to what is referred to as systematic and chronic sexual violence and torture against persons here:

And you can also check our defence to what might be excesses in that defence here:

In sum: we as a law firm are personalists, but, ideologically, in order to equipoise, from feminism. We objectively and generally admire the material, academic and philosophical international improvements pushed by the Mexican judicial system, as well as the positive and public encouragement and call to action for the profession of the laws, and the women empowerment, of, for instance, iconic figures like Amal Ramzi Alam Uddin.

Being that said, is important to mention that although it may not be popular to do so, accepting the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case Victims of sexual torture in Atenco v. Mexico, as it is, can backfire against the state. And it will, because is, objectively, unfair and partial. For instance:

  • It was asked to add elements in regard to the right to protest, what was not claimed.
  • Even they asked for elements in the regards to the right to protest, and that graphic evidence that proved no sexual violence to the persons of whom their human rights were supposedly violated was accepted and referred; albeit it, evidence of explicit sexual violence against other persons who were publicly kicked in their sensible parts, live, through the state concessions, what was seen by millions of persons, was not only not referred, but not accepted at all.  
  • They accepted that the same state that supposedly violated those persons human rights, was right by convicting other persons (physicians) for supposedly refusing and being negligent against these persons human rights, but without listening to them, or any of the rest of the supposedly public actors that were accused of such, especially since, if it is the case that so many physicians refused, then somebody must have gave them the material order, which goes far beyond the alleged not-seeing-not-doing accusations to the state, specifically since there is no evidence that, in such a case, any authority ordered the, in such a case, alleged sexual violence; and even being internationally acceptable to use force, is common-sense reasonable that the sexual violence and torture exceeds the limits of any state (in war or peace) intervention; arising needed thus, just for that simple reason, to be proved the superior explicit orders; not to say that those public actors who are accused of such violations, have not been listened either.

So: if the state is such a human rights violator, why accepting the victims’ claims and not listening to, at least, the physicians, who were persecuted and are imprisoned by the same state?

Also, is important to mention that the in that time National Human Rights Commission president, was a declared enemy of the, in that time, President Vicente Fox Quesada, so the initial evidence, for that reason, can also be biased, and since, as we said, if these persons claim such terrible sexual violence, how can that international court be so sure the same state acted in other way in regard to, at least, the persecuted and imprisoned physicians, who are accused of systematically refusing to examine the victims and certify their claims. In other words, if that type of sexual violence goes beyond war rules, is clear that under civil authorities’ leadership, the order needs to be proved, and if not, as is the case, then the version of the accused members of the state shall be taken into consideration, especially if some were persecuted and imprisoned by the same state that was found responsible for such violations.

In any other case, we have a decision that violates those persons human rights, while pretending to demonstrate the hypothetical human rights violations to other persons, accepting as evidence and referring to graphic evidence that fails to prove the acts that gave reason to the claim, but not accepting evidence that, indeed, proves explicit sexual violence and torture against other persons (id est, the police officers). All this especially since such international court refers that the victims were arbitrarily detained inside houses, and that graphic material, the one they accepted and the one they did not, is of what happened in the streets, and fails to prove even the supposed arbitrary detentions, not to say, in specific, the victims’ claimed detentions. Fails to even prove they were, indeed, in those houses and not in the streets where there was a national security emergency and/or a threat to the Mexican sovereignty.

The above mentioned, specifically since it is well known that in scenarios of such violent and organized protests (terrorism and/or anarchy), the detained people always claim violence against their personas, thence being mandatory to listen the defendants’ version of the facts, especially since the only way for that sexual violence and torture, of which they are being accused, to occur, will be if it was explicitly ordered, and even if it was, they must have refused it, since them, in the case of the physicians, swore to protect the health and lives of the people (even of the enemy in case of war).

All these since one regular person can think, as it was said in the streets by those who saw, live, the explicit sexual violence and torture against the police officers the court did not admit: “kill them”, “break them”, “severely punish them”, “give them what they deserve”, etcetera. Or as it was said by the mass media: “act in emergency”, “do something”, etcetera. In spite of all these misinformed claims or similar and passionate claims whatsoever, a public order authority that has the info, the knowledge, etcetera, knows the basic limits, especially since the police officers needed to be certified and pass exams, etcetera, to get to such positions; so albeit the facts that happened in the moment could be part of the adrenaline, the tolerance of the state, etcetera, there is no doubt that if such persons were abused after those facts, even in different places, that was far beyond any normal and reasonable use of force, so it needed to be, not just tolerated or ignored, but explicitly ordered.

The in-the-moment acts can be “tolerated” or “ignored”, particularly since they acted with a sense of emergency and fast to save lives, but the acts after that, in order to such sexual violence and torture to occur, needed to be explicitly ordered or unilaterally executed, primarily since all of the referred, alluded and accepted graphic evidences, fail to prove any of that, and other evidences, do prove explicit sexual violence against other persons (id est, police officers); not being at all the accused listened by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case Victims of sexual torture in Atenco v. Mexico.

So, after this introduction: what happened in the United Mexican States, in the Estado de Mexico, in the locality of Atenco, in the populated area of San Salvador Atenco, the 4 of May of 2006?   

Being this defence in loco parentis and pro veritate, we need to start by stating that, without denning or affirming the claimed sexual violence, it tends to happen in these type of scenarios (of terrorism and/or anarchy), that sexual violence is claimed or even generated, as a tactic to pretend the “revolutionary fight”, the “ideology”, the “forms”, etcetera, to appear to be legitimate; this notwithstanding that the material reason for which the state acted, is not as incorrectly, deficiently and superficially the Mexican state said, “to re-establish the rule of law”, but was, upon all, to rescue elements of state corporations of whom their lives were at imminent risk, as well as to neutralise active threats to explode at least one ammonium tanker, perhaps by foreign forces, not existing logical space for not acting or ambiguity in the vital obligation in order to do so.

The foregoing is justified in the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, Adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, because the state has the obligation to guarantee the security and maintain the public order inside its borders, being permitted to legitimately use even lethal force to re-establish it; being as well, when other means are impossible, and in the minimum necessary, permitted to even use lethal force to disperse violent protests, particularly, as was the case, when the lives of members of the state and other persons were at imminent danger, and, as is also the case, when was with the purpose to avoid the commission of particularly severe crimes that involved serious risks to lives; furthermore if, as was the case, the acts implied a relevant threat to the national security, to the point of not acting to protect so many lives, being severely negligent in itself. In other words, the circumstances constituted imminent threats to lives and integrities, not only of persons that were not part or were part of those violent protests (terrorism and/or anarchism), but against members of the state. Thence being obvious the acts were not comprised in the right to protest or manifest disagreement or the right to assembly, because the “demonstrators” and/or “protesters” assembled, were armed and used, at least, machetes, Molotov pumps, rockets, a vast amount of rocks, sticks and, at least, a handmade cannon, as is referred in the decision.

But specially, the ruling states that in front of their ubication, they “put an ammonium tanker”, which obviously was not a decoration for the street; that tanker was in position to meet the threats to explode it. Hence, being the reaction of the Mexican state what is being discussed, including the alleged entrance to houses to in flagrante arrest potential terrorists, who were attacking the national security and potentially the Mexican sovereignty; for that reason, is incorrect to evade, avoid, minimize, obviate or treat as an isolated and irrelevant event, the fact that in front of their location the “demonstrators” and/or “protesters” assembled, who were armed with and used, at least, machetes, Molotov pumps, rockets, a vast amount of rocks, sticks and, at least, a handmade cannon; being incorrect to reduce the most possible and rest importance, as was done by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case Victims of sexual torture in Atenco v. Mexico, to the fact that those persons “put an ammonium tanker”, ignoring the abundant quantity of tragedies caused by such substance, as for example happened in 1947, at Texas City, in the United States of America, where because of it, the most lethal explosion, called as worse than war devastation itself; where the most deadly explosion in that country’s history occurred, being it listened 240 kilometres away, causing 581 deaths, 3, 500 injuries and $150, 000, 000.00 of American dollars in damages, what, today, will approximately be $27, 516, 631, 147.00 Mexican pesos or $1, 379, 798, 478.00 American dollars.

Under these circumstances, despite resulting possible that tactically there was an abuse of force, maybe justified in the impotency and the anxiety and the adrenaline of the state members who wanted to rescue their kidnaped colleagues from a violent death, even followed by the fact that the previous day they were indeed severely violent attacked by those “demonstrators” and/or “protesters”, who even exercised sexual violence and torture by kicking them in their most sensible parts through tricky and intentional and treacherous and advantageous and with viciousness and cruelty group vexations, what was publicly transmitted through the mass media through the state concessions and was saw by millions of persons. Or, otherwise, without undermine that tactically there might have occurred an overreaction, definitely justified in the necessity to promptly acting to avoid the tremendous damage, death, destruction and desolation that would have caused the explosion of at least one ammonium tanker. Notwithstanding then those possible tactical abuses in the implementation, product of the haste and the lack of coordination and the feelings and the adrenaline of being the lives and integrities of those who intervened at risk; howbeit, it cannot be accepted as unquestionable, on top of the members of the state version of the facts, the grieves of involved or potentially involved persons, especially since the damage to incalculable civilians and members of the state was imminent, not to say the lives of the members of the state who were held against their will in an excessively violent way, and who were, therefore, at imminent risk, as well. Furthermore, as is the case, if there is not just graphic evidence of the use of force by all sides, but of civilians who were not part of it, who were affected and who publicly cheered the intervention of the state, in a crisis where possibly in a material form, but almost certainty in an ideological form, were involved foreign forces and alien entities that contributed to this type of “terrorism and/or anarchy” disguised as revolutionary, even just by alluding the fact of the ammonium tanker that was in imminent risk of explosion.

In other words, the strategical legitimacy of the intervention is beyond any doubt. Moreover if although the public demands for an energetic reaction to those severe human rights violations against the members of the state (id est, police officers), what millions of persons saw through the mass media in the concessions of the state; if even that, there is absolute absence of evidence that the commanders ordered any type of abuse of authority, despite the “demonstrators” and/or “protesters” assembled, were, indeed, armed and used, at least, machetes, Molotov pumps, rockets, a vast amount of rocks, sticks and, at least, a handmade cannon, and put in position and threat to explode at least one ammonium tanker. In particular since the signalized human rights violations attributed to the state, in such a case, manly occurred after the intervention.

Without diminishing the fact that those were terrorist and/or anarchic actions where the stability and viability of the state was in danger, signifying an imminent and with higher proportions crisis, where innumerable lives were at risk (including innocent lives, the lives of the members of the state and the lives of those “demonstrators” and/or “protesters” assembled, that were armed and used, at least, machetes, Molotov pumps, rockets, a vast amount of rocks, sticks and, at least, a handmade cannon, and who put in position and threat to explode at least one ammonium tanker); what no doubt endangered the national security, but, since there was a in situ presence of  foreign leaderships or virtual foreign leaderships; since such, the crisis may have been, or actually was, an attack to the Mexican sovereignty.

Thus, as it did happen, and as the decision points it, the state was forced to work in improving the protocols that permit, when facing these kind of crisis, to act, without losing firmness, in a more humane, ordered, regulated and clean way; nonetheless, it was imperative to the point of not doing so being negligent, due the actual and imminent emergency, to intervene with those resources at hand, even it was with haste and urgency, since not just the viability and national security and/or the Mexican sovereignty were in actual and immediate threat, but also because an uncountable amount of lives were in more than imminent danger of being lost.

In synthesis: to violently hold members of the state with the purpose of giving them an imminent and cruel death, having in position barricades and having ready to and threatening to explode at least one ammonium tanker, what could have caused much more death and much more chaos, plus the presence of foreign leaderships or hypothetical foreign leaderships, is not the exercise of the right to protest, but an act of terrorism and/or anarchy, and an attack to the national security, as well as, also, a possible aggression to the Mexican sovereignty, resulting imperative, under such circumstances, to listen to the members of the state accused of human rights violations, especially if it is just their word against the word of persons that were part, or potentially were part, of that type terrorism and/or anarchy; and also, if there were deaths, the saved lives of the members of the state are of higher relevance, since they were on an official duty, and also are relevant the saved lives of innocent civilians, as well as the lives of the “demonstrators” and/or “protesters” assembled, even they were, indeed, armed and, indeed, used, at least, machetes, Molotov pumps, rockets, a vast amount of rocks, sticks and, at least, a handmade cannon, and put in position and threat to explode at least one ammonium tanker, particularly since so many people could have been death and there can have occurred so many destruction, product of terrorist and/or anarchic tactics, as could have happen, among other things, if the ammonium tanker had been explode.

Accordingly, as those persons appeal for their human rights being violated, the members of the state lives were at danger too, including through the possible existence or the actual existence of foreign leaderships and/or foreign subversive tactics. All that without considering reasonable to elude the fact that the sole circumstance of being in that anarchic scenario and of being potentially involved of such actions, could form part of those terrific and anarchic purposes, being the case that although there is evidence of the use of force to avoid a greater damage, there is also evidence of cheers and gratitude from the population who were kidnapped by these ideologic and/or logistic expressions of terrorism and/or anarchy, what has been replicated in multiple scenarios where there have been considerable economic and employment losses.

In regard to the specificities of the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case Victims of sexual torture in Atenco v. Mexico, we believe that even there are elements to point that followed by the, in such a case, absence of any conduct on part of the affected people, that made indispensable the use of force, as well as less the, in such a case, sexual nature of the, in such a case, exercised violence, attributed to members of the state; if it was actually like that, evidently the use of such force will not even be legitimate; but nevertheless it will be negligent to ignore the validly argumentable apparent presence of partiality, potentially unjustified, on part of such international institution, since it is not even legitimate that it refrain from pointing out the seriousness of the behaviours that caused the intervention of the Mexican state that 4 of May of 2006, and the consubstantial context that implied affronts or attacks to the Mexican sovereignty and/or to the national security, with, at least, the sole possibility for an ammonium tanker to be exploded.

As well as insensitive will be to elide to point out that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights not solely forborne the sexual violence and torture that members of the Mexican state suffered, through multiple kicks in their most sensible parts, what millions of persons witnessed through the state concessions, but that, atop, that evidence of what happened the 3 of May of 2006, was not admitted at all, maximum that, conversely, it, the court in its decision, indeed alluded the transmissions of the acts that happened the 4 of May of 2006, that fail to prove the conducts against these persons, for which the Mexican state is being condemned, apparently ignoring that all are persons with human rights, including likewise those who cheered the intervention of the state in the ignored fragments of the yet alluded transmissions.

All the foregoing might be, or appears to us to be, because unjustifiably that international institution pretends to presumably endow with greater legitimacy the decision in the case Victims of sexual torture in Atenco v. Mexico, in order to, prima facie, make it transcend in time and jurisdiction, notably if we face the fact that the same human rights violator state is the one that has in prison, at least, a group of physicians who are accused of systematically violating human rights; all this, without their version of the facts even being listened, markedly since them, as physicians, swore to attend persons and save lives (even of the enemy in war), being the case that not acting in accordance with their duty, only could be understood if there was an explicit order; order they must have, in such a case, refused.

We reaffirm, we, as has been indicated, defend the persons’ human rights, we condemn any type of unwilling sexual violence, we advocate for the gender equivalence, the women empowerment and the diversity’s human rights, hence we are not justifying sexual violence whatsoever, which, in such a case, in fact, will not be demonstrative of the way the generality of the members of the Mexican state act; to which the accusation might also tend to distort the fact that the actions might have been influenced and/or directed by foreign leaderships, what, in itself, will be an attack to the Mexican sovereignty, especially since, true and undoubtedly, the sole imminent possibility to explode at least one ammonium tanker, was in itself a national security threat. Thus, albeit the Mexican state intervened to avoid a greater tragedy, potentially similar to, as was previously exposed, the one occurred in Texas City; although the forceful interventions, as written by the treatise writers, need to be rooted in brain and not in force, as the ignorant may think; even though all that, there is no pretention in our part to justify any type of violence, suffered by different and diverse persons. What we are validly questioning is the partiality that implies for the Inter-American Court of Human Right to be total and absolutely disregarded in presenting the versions of the persons signalized as human rights violators, moreover when it actually alluded the transmissions where the state acted to save lives and persons from the “demonstrators” and/or “protesters” assembled, that were armed and used, at least, machetes, Molotov pumps, rockets, a vast amount of rocks, sticks and, at least, a handmade cannon, and put in position and threat to explode at least one ammonium tanker; transmissions that, nevertheless, fail to prove the sexual torture for which the Mexican state was condemned in the case Victims of sexual torture in Atenco v. Mexico.

By expressly referring to those transmissions that are inapt to demonstrate the actions of sexual violence for which the Mexican state was condemned, when it did not admit the evidence that indeed proved sexual violence against other persons who were kicked in their most sensible parts through tricky and intentional and treacherous and advantageous and with viciousness and cruelty in group vexations, what was publicly transmitted through the mass media through the state concessions and was saw by millions of persons; all that adding the fact that there is a total absence of the versions of the persons who are accused for violating human rights, even they are supposedly imprisoned by the same human rights violator state; being that way, the decision in the case Victims of sexual torture in Atenco v. Mexico, is, notwithstanding the regrettable that, in such a case, effectively could have been the subjective acts attributed to members of the state; in spite of it, the condemn against the Mexican state is, objectively, partial, since, in sum, it shirks the fact that those public servants are also persons with human rights and that were persecuted and are imprisoned by the same state that is accused of such violations, ergo negligently not listening their version of the facts is to dehumanize and objectify them.

Nota bene and pro bono: in regard to the costs and expenses, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered to pay to the representatives of the persons that in this context claimed human rights violations by the Mexican state; in addition to the costs and expenses of the execution of it, it ordered the payment of $30, 000.00 American dollars, or, approximately, $598, 274.00 Mexican pesos. In that proportion, adding the rest of the condemns that amount $1, 426, 214.00 American dollars, or, approximately, $28, 442, 801.00 Mexican pesos; in that proportion, for the relevant purposes, that in our opinion signify urging the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to rectify the decision; in that  dimension we donate to the Mexican state the present arguments and elements, product of an extremely specialized and complex work. And in that proportion too, we also donate our costs and expenses for its proper communication.

Finally, as a colophon, we are compelled to mention, that, the opposite thesis (id est, negligently doing nothing), lead to the unfortunate facts in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo, where (after hours of letting them freely manipule gasoline), besides tens of injured people, 137 persons were burnt to death, 17 days after this piece was made, via a tweet, of notice of the relevant Mexican authorities.

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