Efforts by prominent Mexican bishops and MacArthur grantee the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center recently helped lead to the release of 145 political prisoners in Mexico. The prisoners had been accused of links to the Zapatista revolutionary movement in the State of Chiapas and were tortured into confessing to crimes they did not commit. A reconciliation commission established by the Chiapas government discovered the systematic use of torture, sexual abuse and fabrication of evidence in cases spanning 1994 to 2006. The Center, which works in partnership with the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, campaigned for the prisoners’ release, helping to trigger the review of nearly 300 cases from that time period.

Human Rights & International Justice, Human Rights, Justice, Mexico