Rodrigo Ramírez MartínezCases
- Location of case in SG report
- Relevant SG report
- Year of the report
- Country Geolocation
- Country Geolocation (linked Countries)
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- UN body that raised the case prior to the SG report
- UN Treaty Bodies: CAT
- Dates of prior UN action
- September 2016; November 2016
- Type of record
- Named individual
- Was the victim a foreign national?
- Was the victim a minor?
- Individual's/organization's activity
Complainants in Ramirez et al. v. Mexico
- Type of rights defended
- Civil/political rights
- Was the victim a civil servant, member of the security forces or of the judiciary?
- Reported trigger of reprisal
Complaint to CAT about reprisals subsequent to: On 4 August 2015, the Committee against Torture, in Ramirez et al. v. Mexico, found a violation of articles 1, 2 (1), 12-15 and 22 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (see CAT/C/55/D/500/2012 and communication No. 500/2012).
- Engagement with UN body
- UN Treaty Bodies: CAT
- Dates of engagement
- 04 August 2015; and before
- Type of attempted engagement
- Submission of information to UN
- UN raised case of person/organization
- Dates of mentioned reprisals
- Reprisal information
The complainants noted that the State party had undertaken a campaign aimed at stigmatizing them as criminals and re-victimising them. According to reports, a few days after the release of the Committee’s decision, the Delegate of the Attorney General’s Office for the Baja California province declared before the media that torture allegations were a “common strategy used by lawyers defending criminals in order to obtain their release or suspend the proceedings against them”. According to information received, several printed media published articles referring to the complainants as “kidnappers released by the United Nations.” Television programs stigmatized the NGO that represented the complainants before the Committee, stating that the Committee had enabled an organised criminal network supporting kidnappers.
Despite having been acquitted in the criminal case against them, two of the complainants were detained again a few hours after having been released based on an alleged arrest warrant dating from 2009 and without a judicial decision. As at 31 July 2017 they were being held in the punishment cells of a penitentiary centre together with convicted detainees, and have been subjected to ill-treatment. Following the release of the other two complainants, the two complainants who remained in detention have been repeatedly harassed by the police, subjected to random arrests and interrogations and called “kidnappers”.Their family members have also been harassed by the police. One of the complainants has had his workplace searched on several occasions and without a warrant.
- Types of reprisals suffered
- Defamation / Defamation campaign
- Family/friends/acquaintances targeted
- Property damage/raid/search/confiscation
- Threats/Intimidations (incl. "fear of reprisal")
- Physical attack: Torture/Cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment
- Alleged/likely perpetrators
- State actors
- Was the reprisal based on new legislation?
- Does the report make general comment about country’s environment for engagement with UN?
- Further case development
No response was received from the Government, and the CAT sent a reminder at its 59th session.
- Is the country cited for a "pattern of reprisal" in the context of this case?
- Is a pattern of reprisals mentioned otherwise in the context of this case?
- Does the report cite "self-censorship" as an issue in the context of this case?
- How many times has the case been followed up in subsequent SG reports?
- In which SG report was this case followed up on? 0
- Follow up information provided in SG report 0
33.As reported in the 2017 report of the Secretary-General (see A/HRC/36/31, para. 41 and Annex 47-50), on 4 August 2015 the Committee against Torture, in Ramirez et al. v. Mexico, found a violation of articles 1, 2 (1), 12-15 and 22 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT/C/55/D/500/2012 and communication No. 500/2012). On 19 May 2016 and 19 September 2016, the complainants submitted that they had suffered acts of intimidation and harassment by the authorities as a result of the Committee’s decision.This allegedly took the form of a campaign aimed at stigmatizing the complainants as criminals and re-victimizing them. On 19 September 2016, the CAT requested protective measures. 34.Given the absence of a response by the Governmentto the allegations of reprisals of 19 September 2016, the Chair of the Committee met with the Permanent Representative of Mexico in Geneva on 14 May 2018 to discuss measures taken by theauthorities to implement the Committee’s decision. The Chair enquired about the outcomes, if any, of the investigation into the acts of torture, punishment of the perpetrators, and protection of the complainants from reprisals reported to the Committee in September 2016.The Chair further inquired whether all four complainants in the case have been released and if they received the remedies requested by the Committee. 35.According to an update received on 25 May 2018, two of the four victims remain in detention and are held in extremely precarious conditions with no regard to their condition as victims of torture and were transferred, without prior notice, to prisons with even harsher conditions.One victim has been diagnosed with a medical condition and is need of treatment, which he has not received. With regard to the two victims that were released, their families continue to face harassment and stigmatization, to the extent that they were forced to change residences. 36.Duringthe meeting with the Chair of the Committee Against Tortureon 14 May 2018, the Government committed to provide updatedinformation from the national authorities and to submit its response to the Committee on the measures taken to implement the decision on thecase by 14 July 2018.The Committee will meet with the Government during the sixty-fifth session of the Committee from 12 November to 7 December 2018
- Followup Trends 0
- Deterioration/further reprisals
- Did the government respond? 0
- Was this case followed up by a UN body? 0
- UN Treaty Bodies: CAT
- In which SG report was this case followed up on? 1
- Follow up information provided in SG report 1
The 2019 (A/HRC/42/30, Annex II, paras. 69–70), 2018 (A/HRC/39/41, Annex II, paras. 33–36) and 2017 (A/HRC/36/31, para. 41, and Annex I, paras. 49–52) reports of the Secretary-General included alleged reprisals against the four complainants in the case of Ramirez et al. v. Mexico (2015) where the Committee against Torture found violations of different provisions of the Convention against Torture (CAT/C/55/D/500/2012). In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Committee requested protective measures for Mr. Ramiro López Vázquez, Mr. Ramiro Ramírez Martínez, Mr. Rodrigo Ramírez Martínez and Mr. Orlando Santaolaya Villarreal related to allegations that, subsequent to the Committee’s decision on their case, the complainants had suffered acts of intimidation and harassment by the authorities. 84. On 15 July 2019, the State party submitted information regarding the investigation into the circumstances of the arrest of the complainants by military personnel. The Government noted that on 12 April 2019, the amparo proceedings initiated by the victims for allegedly harmful acts were dismissed, and there are pending investigations into crimes under federal law to prevent and punish torture. The four victims have been registered in the National Registry of Victims and have the right to receive assistance, protection, and reparation. According to the State party, the complainants have had access to health assessments, medical and psychological assistance as well as legal assistance. Regarding the alleged harassment and criminalization of the victims, the State party admits that no investigation has taken place; however, the victims may submit a complaint to the Ministry of Justice, if necessary. 85. In view of the information provided by the State party, the Committee considered its decision as partially implemented and decided to keep the follow-up dialogue ongoing (CAT/C/67/3, paras. 4–11), including by sending a letter on 16 October 2019 expressing concern at reports that Mr. Rodrigo Ramírez Martínez had been mistreated and extorted by the national gendarmerie on 8 September of 2019. 56 It requested the State party to immediately adopt the necessary protection measures, to carry out a prompt, independent and impartial investigation, to redact criminal records and provide official proof of the cancellation of such records to avoid future reprisals, and to provide full reparation to the victims. In November 2019, it was reported to OHCHR that Mexico did not comply with the protection measures requested by the Committee, and that Mr. Santaolaya Villarreal was in poor health due to conditions of detention. 86. On 3 December 2019 (CAT/C/68/3, paras. 11–14), 57 the Committee considered that the follow-up comments and observations had demonstrated a lack of implementation, raised concerns about repeated allegations of reprisals, and decided to keep the follow-up dialogue ongoing, including a renewed request for protection measures (A/75/44, para. 65). In February 2020, Mr. Ramiro Ramírez Martínez won a judicial appeal and was released without charges. Thus, Mr. Orlando Santaolaya Villareal is the only one of the four complainants who remains in detention. 87. On 4 August 2020, the Government responded to the note verbale in connection to the present report indicating that it does not have additional information or action registered regarding the above-mentioned cases.
- Followup Trends 1
- Significant positive and negative developments
- Date of follow up 1
- 16 October 2019; 3 December 2019
- Did the government respond? 1
- Was this case followed up by a UN body? 1
- UN Treaty Bodies: CAT