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Mexico rights commission rebukes marines over detentions

February 6, 2015

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s governmental human rights agency rebuked the country’s marines on Friday for alleged physical and psychological abuse of two detainees, saying such treatment violated prohibitions against torture and calling for an investigation.

The unnamed suspects were detained as the result of an anonymous tip in Matamoros, in the Gulf Coast state of Tamaulipas and on the border with Texas, in September. They were alleged to be members of a criminal gang who were carrying military-grade weapons.

The National Human Rights Commission said in a statement that the detainees reported being blindfolded, struck with blunt objects, subjected to electric shocks, suffocated with bags over their heads and threatened with death and harm to their families while in military custody.

Based on the case file and medical reports, the commission said it was able to certify abuses of their human rights and protections against arbitrary detention and torture, all violations attributable to the marines.

“The use of such techniques is not congruent with respect for human dignity and constitutes an illegal exercise of authority,” the statement said.

The Navy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Human Rights Commission said the two people remain in custody at a prison in Veracruz state, which neighbors Tamaulipas to the south.

It called for an investigation and admonished the Navy to instruct marines to respect human rights and the rule of law.

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