Friday, December 18, 2009

Center Prodh condemns designation of Wilfrido Robledo as new head of the Federal Investigatory Police

by Centro Prodh

- Robledo was involved in planning the police operations that led to grave human rights violations in San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco on May 3 and 4, 2006.

- His designation is a new demonstration of disdain by the federal government toward human rights.

Yesterday, December 17, 2009, Wilfrido Robledo Lamadrid was confirmed as the new head of the recently created Federal Investigatory Police (Policía Federal Ministerial), attached to the Federal Attorney General’s office.

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center considers lamentable the decision to promote to such an important post an official with a black history in human rights. Robledo was involved in planning and implementing the police operations that led to grave human rights violations against detainees in San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco May 3 and 4, 2006, while he was head of the State Security Department in Mexico state.

Robledo Lamadrid and other state officials, including governor Peña Nieto, deny the existence of human rights violations in Atenco; however, both the National Human Rights Commission and the Supreme Court confirmed the occurrence of grave violations. These abuses are also under consideration by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

In particular, Robledo Lamadrid and Peña Nieto deny completely the sexual torture committed against detained women in Atenco. Eleven of these women, represented by Center Prodh, have persisted in denouncing these crimes, identifying material and intellectual authors, yet as of today there has been no justice in the case. The involvement of Robledo in these events was tacitly confirmed by him when he retired from his post as head of the State Security Department at the initiation of the Supreme Court investigation into the case.

The designation of officials with questionable human rights records, as also occurred in the recent designation of Attorney General Chávez Chávez despite overwhelming opposition from civil society, shows that the theme of human rights does not matter greatly to the federal government: a government committed to human rights does not name to prestigious offices officials who have overseen notorious human rights violations in the past. Far from contributing to purging corruption from the ranks of the police, such designations send a message of renewed support for those who have already proven unworthy of such positions.

In conclusion, Center Prodh regrets the designation of Wilfrido Robledo as the new head of the Federal Investigatory Police. We reiterate that the demonstrated disdain of the current administration for human rights leaves no option – as can be seen in the case of the survivors of sexual torture in Atenco – except to seek justice before international bodies.

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