A human rights court has ruled that Mexico violated the rights of two people who were held in pretrial detention for more than 17 years.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights said on Wednesday that the Mexican government is responsible for “the violation of the rights to personal integrity, personal liberty, to judicial guarantees, to equality before the law and to judicial protection.”
It also found that the two detainees, Daniel García Rodríguez and Reyes Alpízar Ortiz, were subjected to torture during the period in which they were held.
García and Alpízar were arrested in 2002 and remained in pretrial detention for 17 years before they were sentenced on homicide charges. They were accused of murdering a municipal councilor in 2001 and filed a complaint before the Inter-American Court in 2007.
On March 19, after their latest appeal, a Mexican court notified Alpízar of his acquittal but upheld García’s 35-year sentence, which he considered “unfair and without evidence,” according to El Universal newspaper.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ordered Mexico to make amends with a series of reparation measures, including payments for material and immaterial damages. The Mexican government was also asked to adapt judicial procedures to international standards.
The court gave Mexico one year to comply with the ruling.
The Mexican government said it “will analyze the resolution of the court in order to comply with its provisions and ensure the greatest respect for the obligations contained in the American Convention on Human Rights.”
It also said that this sentence will serve to guide the actions of the state regarding the protection of the rights of people deprived of their liberty and who are facing trial.