Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Columns & Features > Global Views > Why is President Calderon ignoring the police rapes of women in Atenco, Mexico?

Why is President Calderon ignoring the police rapes of women in Atenco, Mexico?

LatinaLista — News today that a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a 14-year-old Mexican boy, whose body was found on the Mexican side of the border, is drawing natural outrage from Mexican government officials who are demanding a quick investigation into the circumstances of the boy’s death.


This death comes on the heels of another death that occurred between U.S. Border Patrol agents and a Mexican citizen. In the other death, Anastasio Hernandez was “shocked by a Customs and Border Protection agent May 31 at the San Ysidro border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego. A U.S. coroner has ruled the death a homicide.”

Mexican President Felipe Calderon

President Felipe Calderon said Monday that the death of a Mexican migrant after being shot with a stun gun by a U.S. immigration officer was an unacceptable human rights violation.

It’s admirable that President Calderon is speaking up for his citizens who died while either crossing into the country illegally or allegedly assaulting U.S. Border Patrol agents.

According to President Calderon, the sanctity of human life knows no station in life. So, it’s rather strange that this President be so outspoken in demanding justice for these two Mexican citizens, yet has remained silent and negligent on another gross injustice that happened within his own borders.

An injustice that Amnesty International says it’s time Mexico deliver justice for 26 women who were beaten and raped by — police.

In May 2006, members of a local farmers organization in the town of San Salvador Atenco staged a protest. Without explanation, federal and local police arrested more than 45 women who were at the protest. They even arrested some women who weren’t even a part of the protest but merely bystanders.

At least 26 of the women reported being physically and sexually assaulted by the police in the van on their way to being taken to jail. More than four years later, no police officials have been prosecuted for the physical and sexual violence endured by these women.

Not one person has been brought to justice though the Mexican Attorney General’s office has identified 34 police officers involved in the raping, beating and brutal treatment of these women.

The Mexican government’s lack of response and respect for the rights of these women to attain justice is a sad reflection on federal attitudes towards women.

The former federal Attorney General had dragged his feet on this issue for months. At the time of the attacks, he was in charge of the same police officers who were implicated in the assaults. But because of the public outcry from concerned people, his office was compelled to identify 34 suspects. Afterwards, his office shifted responsibility of the case to the state of Mexico, which is the governor’s jurisdiction.

Amnesty International is asking for global participation in helping these women attain justice by sending an e-mail to President Calderon and several other high-ranking Mexican officials that the men who abused these women are taken into custody and the state pay reparations to the women and their families.

If President Calderon and his staff don’t start to address the gross violations within his own country directed at the most vulnerable of his population then it’s no wonder that his demands for justice from the United States will be met with the same indifference he has shown for his country’s victims — most notably, the 45 women who are still waiting for justice.

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  • Rebecca Velayas
    June 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    It is totally acceptable to rape, beat and even murder women in Mexico. These scum bags will never be held accountable. The mexican government ignores this behavior all the time. Look at all the missing women in Juarez. Has anyone really tried to find out who committed these crimes. Hell no.. President Calderon was not even elected into office. Obrador had the vote and it was stolen from him. Calderon is a scumbag just like so many other of his counterparts. Calderon can’t even control what is happening in his own country, but wants to be Mr. macho and tell the US how to run their business. Go to hell Calderon and all you arrogant macho idiot Mexicans that treat women like shit. That does not mean that all Mexican men are like that but unfortunately it does mean a lot of them are. In 1975 I was in Mexico for a year and I was subjected to this mentality. I went through a military check point at Guaymas, Sonora. I was riding in a semi truck with my boyfriend, whom later became my husband. He went to the back of the truck so they could inspect his load. While he was back there another soldier with a machine gun came to my door and said he needed to search me. I was wearing a pair of shorts and a halter top. This guy reached up under my halter top and cupped by boob. He stared into my eyes as if daring me to something about it. He had a machine gun and I did nothing. If it had have been more, I would have. Later that year I was in Tijuana walking down the street in the Revolution. A police officer stopped and told me to get into his car. When I asked why, He told me that he was taking me in for questioning. He drove me into a neighborhood and pulled his patrol car over to the side of the road. He told me that I was going to have sex with him or he was going to shoot me and he pulled out a revolver. I told him that he had better shoot me because I was not having sex with him. I got out of the car and walked away. I did not know whether he was going to shoot me until I turned the corner. I would have rather died than allow that Bastard to have his way with me. I do not go to Mexico and I advise others the same. Mexican men for the most part have no respect for women. Calderon is no exception.

  • Bryan J.
    June 9, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Calderon is not so different from his politician brethren in the United States and the rest of the world. Is Calderon’s concern for his citizens the primary motivator, or is it secondary to his interest in appealing to the majority of the Mexican Population.
    After all, blaming another government is far easier than blaming oneself.

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