HomeNewsBriefSuspect in Juarez Consulate Killings Says He Was Tortured
BRIEF

Suspect in Juarez Consulate Killings Says He Was Tortured

MEXICO / 3 OCT 2013 BY NATALIE SOUTHWICK EN

A suspect in the 2010 killings of three people connected to the US consulate in Juarez has claimed he was tortured after his arrest, drawing attention to the brutal tactics used by Mexico's security forces as they fight the drug war.

Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, an alleged leader of Juarez's Barrio Azteca gang, said agents took him to a warehouse after arresting him with his wife in November 2010, reported El Paso Times. There, they stripped him naked, administered electric shocks to his testicles, hung him by his arms and beat him, while his wife was tortured and raped in another room, he said.

According to a motion filed in the US District Court in El Paso, Gallegos and his wife were flown to Mexico City the next day, where he was tortured for two more days before giving a confession to the FBI. He was extradited to the US, where he is awaiting trial on multiple charges related to the murders.

Gallegos has requested the federal court throw out his statements to the FBI because they were a result of torture and "psychological pressure."

InSight Crime Analysis

Mexican security forces have long faced allegations of abuse, charges that escalated under the presidency of Felipe Calderon. In a 2011 report, US NGO Human Rights Watch reported finding evidence of widespread detainee torture under his tenure, facilitated by statutes such as "arraigo", which allows authorities to hold suspects for up to 80 days without charge.

Allegations of this type of abuse have been particularly common in Juarez, and, if true, Gallegos' case provides another example of the dark face of policing in the city. Police brutality has become an even more polemical issue in the region since the 2011 arrival of police chief Julian Leyzaola, who had been dismissed from his previous position as Tijuana's secretary of public safety over human rights concerns.

Leyzaola's stint in Juarez has coincided with plummeting rates of murder, extortion and kidnapping, but has also been characterized by accusations of extrajudicial killings, beatings in custody, and the indiscriminate detention of people who are poor, or who "look wrong." 

While, Gallegos' allegations suggest abusive methods did not arrive with Leyzaola, the fact that such a controversial figure continues to be deployed to violent areas hints that the sort law enforcement brutality Gallegos describes continues to receive tacit official support. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

DISPLACEMENT / 2 JUN 2021

The number of displaced people within Mexico has increased for the first time in three years, indicating that the country's…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 12 OCT 2021

Arms trafficking in Mexico has turned to digital mediums that offer both broad visibility and anonymity to an ever-increasing flow…

COCAINE / 8 JUL 2021

A US investigation has shed light on the alleged participation of Guatemalan soldiers in a cocaine smuggling network linked to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…