Yecenia Armenta Graciano was released from a northern Mexico prison on 7 June 2016 and cleared of all charges against her. Four years earlier, after hours of beating, asphyxiation, threats, and rape by the police, she had confessed to the murder of her husband.
In court, Yecenia argued that her confession was given under torture. Corroborating?her claim was a medico-legal report by the Colectivo Contra la Tortura y la Impunidad (an IRCT member centre). But a medico-legal report of the Attorney General’s Office, often criticised for its lack of independence, found no evidence of torture.
The IFEG was then asked to conduct a third examination, which we did based on the Istanbul Protocol. This was one of the first times that a Mexican court certified international professionals as qualified ‘experts’ in national proceedings.
After our comprehensive evaluation of Yecenia, we concluded that the physical and psychological evidence was consistent with Yecenia’s allegations, and the judge in her case agreed. The judge rejected the confession as a product of torture and ordered the State Attorney to prosecute her torturers.