Friday, September 23, 2016
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is demanding a full-scale investigation into the rape of at least 11 women at the hands of Mexican police during a crackdown on protesters in 2006 — a crackdown ordered by now-President Enrique Peña Nieto
Peña Nieto was the governor of the state of Mexico when hundreds of people took over a town square to protest police stopping vendors from selling flowers at a nearby market. More than 40 women — vendors, students, and activists — were violently arrested. The commission found that at least 11 women were "raped, beaten, penetrated with metal objects, robbed, and humiliated, made to sing aloud to entertain police." The government initially accused the women of making it up but eventually acknowledged the rape and abuse. Regardless, no police were ever prosecuted. Instead, the women were prosecuted, with five of them spending more than a year locked up on minor charges, such as blocking traffic. While Peña Nieto was not directly accused of wrongdoing by the commission, any thorough investigation would involve looking into his involvement in ordering the crackdown. It's yet another scandal for a president whose approval ratings have been tanking amid accusations of corruption and violence. In total, two protesters were killed and another 207 were "victims of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment" in the 2006 incident.