In April 2016, a video was leaked to the press showing police and military officials suffocating a woman with a plastic bag and interrogating her while she screamed. The question of what may have happened after the camera was turned off was left hanging in the air.

The video scandalized Mexican society and provoked an unprecedented public apology from the Minister of Defense and the National Security Commissioner. But an apology falls far short of the state’s obligation to address the human rights crisis facing Mexico in which torture and ill-treatment are generalized throughout the country.

This report demonstrates that the Mexican police and armed forces routinely torture and ill-treat women, and that sexual violence is routine during arrest and interrogation. Severe beatings to the stomach, head and ears; threats of rape against women and their families; near-asphyxiation, electric shocks to the genitals; groping of breasts and pinching of nipples; rape with objects, fingers, firearms and the penis – these are just some of the forms of violence inflicted on women.

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