This Friday, for the first time in the history of Chiapas, two policemen accused of torture will be seated before a judge when the initial hearing of imputation and connection to the trial takes place.
The two policemen, Orday N and Edgar N, are accused of detaining, depriving their liberty and torturing Francisco de Jesús Espinosa Hidalgo, a lord of indigenous origin who is now 70 years old and who, after his arrest, spent three years with four months indicted in charge of robbery with rape a, a crime that would have confessed under torture.
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The two accused police officers are attached to the Directorate General of the Specialized Police of the Attorney General’s Office of Chiapas (formerly the Attorney General’s Office).
The institution in charge of the defense of Francisco, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba), applied the Istanbul Protocol on July 4, 2016, and a year later, on July 13, 2017, Doctors of the Swiss World Mission-Mexico A.C. returned to apply (r) the procedure and on both occasions the result noted that Francisco Espinoza was tortured.
The State Commission on Human Rights of Chiapas (ECHR) issued a recommendation to the Chiapas Attorney General’s Office on 3 October 2018 attesting that “both are concluded with emotional involvement”.
This Friday, the control judge will learn about those and other evidence gathered during Francis’ more than three years in prison. The ECHR, in its recommendation, notes that Francisco’s age should be regarded as aggravating, and is an element that, according to Gilberto Hernández, Frayba’s lawyer, will be presented to the judge on Friday.
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Francisco Espinoza was arrested on May 29, 2015 in the morning when he left his home, located in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza. He was going to work on his maize planting when, according to the Brother’s account, he was arrested by the policemen who will be in front of a judge on Friday.
“According to his testimony, during detention and transfer he was tortured physically and psychologically. The aftermath of Torture was intensified by prison conditions, which in turn aggravated Francis’ state of health,” the organization said in a statement.
The peasant Francisco Espinoza was released on September 21, 2018 when a judge acknowledged his innocence. So far, according to his defense, he has not yet returned to work on his plot.
“It is clear from the facts narrated to this Agency that (Francisco, in its character as aggrieved, and in the light of the comprehensive and harmonious interpretation of international standards for the protection of human rights, they fall within cruel, inhuman or degrading measures,” the ECHR said in its recommendation.
Lawyer Gilberto Hernández noted that this is a case that is already historic in Chiapas due to the fact that two police officers are going to appear before a judge. “It’s a very important day, it’s the first case so it’s taken to court,” the lawyer told Political Animal.
In addition, if the police officers are linked to the process, it would be a relevant precedent for 18 other complaints made by the Frayba in which torture is also charged to indigenous people in Chiapas.
Until the time of this publication it was known that Francis will not go to the audience because his health condition is precarious. According to Gilberto Hernández, he suffers from illnesses related to ill-treatment on the day of his arrest and during the three years and four months of prison life.
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