Edinburgh Students’ Union. Tuesday, 4th March, 12.09pm. As students sat and ate their lunch, chatted, and worked, soldiers stormed the building. A female student was accosted, a black bag placed over her head as she was dragged away for interrogation.
“Where are the drugs? Where are the guns?” – the questions were repeatedly yelled as she lay on the floor. No answers came, other than expressions of terrified confusion – so the soldiers went for another student.
Dragged away in plain daylight, interrogated, tortured. In the context of a students’ union this may seem a farfetched stunt – but around the world, it is a horrifying reality for thousands.
In February 2011, moments after dropping off her children at school, housewife Miriam Isaura López Vargas was grabbed by two men wearing balaclavas. She was tied up, blindfolded and driven to a military barracks in the city of Tijuana. For the following week she was raped repeatedly by soldiers, who tortured her until she signed a statement falsely implicating herself in drug offences. She was sent to prison to await trial, but was released without charge seven months later.
Despite the fact that Miriam has identified some of the perpetrators and their accomplices, no one has been brought to justice for the torture she suffered, which included sexual violence.
Miriam López is not the only one. Reports of torture and other ill-treatment rose by 500% in Mexico between 2006 and 2012, according to the National Human Rights Commission. Convictions for these crimes are very rare, but signing our petition can help get justice.
Take action here: http://tinyurl.com/justiceformiriam