FIDH: Mexico must try former Coahuila governor Torres Lopez for crimes of enforced disappearance, torture and murder, before any extradition to the US

Mexico City, Paris, 7 February 2019. FIDH, along with several other organizations, urges Mexico’s Attorney General to try Jorge Juan Torres Lopez for crimes of murder, enforced disappearances, and torture, crimes against humanity in which he may have been involved as a senior public official in the state of Coahuila, before being extradited to the United States. Torres was detained on 5 February in Puerto Vallarta. He was wanted by the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) at the request of the US anti-drug agency (DEA), for alleged crimes such as fraud, drug trafficking, and transactions involving funds from illegal sources.

“To allow Torres Lopez to be extradited to the United States would be an affront to the family members of the hundreds who were forcefully disappeared in 2011 in Coahuila. They hope that justice is served and seek the truth about these crimes against humanity. It is paradoxical that Torres is wanted in other countries, while in his own country of Mexico, there is no investigation whatsoever under way.”

the organizations emphasized.

In 2017, FIDH, with the support of more than 100 other organizations, published and sent to the International Criminal Court the report: Mexico Coahuila: ongoing crimes against humanity. The report identifies crimes against humanity perpetrated by the state’s security authorities in undeniable collusion with the Zeta cartel.

It is significant that in 2011, while Torres Lopez held the position of interim governor of Coahuila, the Allende massacre was carried out by the Zeta cartel, killing between 60 and 300 people. The evidence available suggests that Torres Lopez was aware of this planned massacre, and that the Zetas were counting on the inaction and the cooperation of the authorities.

Likewise, on Torres’ watch the Piedras Negras prison, the CERESO, was used as the Zetas’ center of operations (2008 to 2012), where the bodies of at least 150 murdered people were burned or dissolved in buckets filled with acid.

For these reasons, we urge the Mexican government to not extradite him to the United States but rather open as soon as possible a serious, impartial and efficient investigation that tries him for crimes against humanity.

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