Ensure justice for women violated in Atenco

Almost exactly five years ago a group of women gathered to sell flowers in the market square of Atenco, Mexico. They had permission to do so but the police surrounded them. The women protested and the police responded with violence. Two people died and many sustained injuries. In the days following, the protests continued and police tried to quell the protests with brutality. They beat protesters, raided their houses, and detained hundreds of them. According to Amnesty International:

Of the hundreds detained, at least 45 were women. On the way to prison, in the state police vehicle, many of the women were beaten, raped, and otherwise sexually assaulted by police officers who had arrested them. Upon arriving at the prison, more than two dozen of the women complained of being sexually assaulted, but the prison’s medical staff merely stitched up their most obvious head wounds, conducting no forensic exams.

Many of these women served time for concocted crimes. Eventually an investigation took place but the head of the investigation was not impartial, being an employee of the same public security branch of government that authorized the police response. The Mexican Supreme Court and the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking have officially acknowledged that human rights abuses took place in Atenco in May of 2006, but to date neither the state or federal government have agreed to accept jurisdiction, which means that justice cannot be carried out.

What can you do? Go to the Amnesty International website and sign a letter urging Mexican officials to ensure that the police who carried out human rights abuses in Atenco in May of 2006 are held accountable for their actions.

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