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Arbitrary detentions in several states of Mexico are addressed in Tijuana

By: Martha Alicia Reyes, Reporter

Tijuana, B.C.- The National Observatory on Arbitrary Detentions in Mexico, addressed in Tijuana details of findings found in the process of preparing a national diagnosis.

In a press conference, the director of Gente Diversa, Rebeca Maltos, said that arbitrary detentions are based on prejudices, stigmas, and stereotypes that revolve around certain youth identities and behaviors when they occupy public space.

She added that authorities justify their actions arguing that they are “conducting routine checkups”, that they are “suspicious” or “distrustful” persons, and what they do is part of surveillance and crime prevention operations, a situation that has transformed the daily lives of young people, who end up giving up public space to avoid conflicts with authorities.

Maltos indicated that in Baja California 292 complaints were received during 2018 for arbitrary detentions, following the line of almost null investigation of the crimes, because the vast majority of arrests made in the state are in flagrance (98.8 percent according to PGJE BC data).

She said that from 2013 to date, the ECHR of Baja California issued thirty-four recommendations for Arbitrary Detention or Illegal Retention, and the State Secretary of Public Safety (SSPE) is the authority with the highest number of recommendations.

A member of the National Observatory on Arbitrary Detentions, Sofía Córdova, said that, in Chihuahua, they received 176 complaints during 2018, related to the state municipal police officers who mostly commit this type of human rights violation all the time.

She mentioned that the municipalities of Chihuahua and Juárez are the municipalities where the largest number of complaints were filed for illegal and unjustified detentions, which, from May to September of this year, the Juvenile Ombudsman received 60 complaints about arbitrary detentions, which the main reasons for the arrests were suspicion and incrimination, and the authority indicated it was the municipal police.

She pointed out that in San Luis Potosí the National Population Survey showed that, in 2016, 29.9 percent of people deprived of their freedom was taken from a private place, without an arrest warrant, they are a higher percentage than the national one.

She added that the analysis of the public safety policy of the state of San Luis Potosí, indicated that the main prevention actions, at least for the issue of crime prevention, leave out uneducated young population or those who do not work in a formal job, this places them in greater vulnerability.

Córdova added that, in Jalisco, the national human rights violation alert system in 2019, placed arbitrary detentions as the main human rights violation in that state.

She stated that in Veracruz arbitrary detentions are the main violation of human rights in matters of public safety, which in Morelos during the sexennium of 2013-2018 194,119 people were arrested for having committed administrative offenses and crimes in that state.

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